Flying high, an extraordinary career awarded

One of the ADF’s most qualified remotely piloted aerial system (RPAS) sensor operators and instructors has been acknowledged for his work building Australia’s remote aircraft capability.

CAPTION: Warrant Officer Sean McClure standing with Australia’s Acting High Commissioner to London, Lynette Wood, with his Medal of the Order of Australia. Story by Lieutenant Commander John Thompson.

RAAF Warrant Officer Sean McClure has served on multiple tours including operations Slipper, Inherent Resolve and Shader, operating a range of remote aircraft.

He has been based in the UK since January 2021 working alongside the Royal Air Force, supporting its RPAS capability.

Warrant Officer McClure was presented with the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the military division at a small ceremony at Australia House in London for meritorious service to the ADF’s remotely piloted aircraft system operations.

“I was shocked when I first learned I was to be presented with an OAM. It is such an honour and a highlight of my career,” Warrant Officer McClure said.

“It’s truly a great privilege to receive recognition for contributions within Air Force’s RPAS field; a capability I’m very passionate about.”

Warrant Officer McClure enlisted in the Air Force as an air surveillance operator in 1998 and has been the backbone of RPAS skills development for RAAF.

“My biggest and most rewarding contribution has been providing direct support to troops on the ground during combat operations; my colleagues and I take great reward in providing that persistent and enduring overhead force protection,” he said.

Warrant Officer McClure’s award describes his superb contribution and selfless devotion over more than a decade of exceptional service, having significantly enhanced the operational performance and development of Australia’s future uncrewed systems.

Wing Commander Keirin Joyce, RPAS Chief Engineer, nominated Warrant Officer McClure for the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

“Sean has made an extraordinary contribution to our RPAS capability over many years, performing a variety of roles including sensor operator, instructor, evaluator, standards officer and test and evaluation practitioner,” Wing Commander Joyce said.

Warrant Officer McClure is winding up his time in the UK and preparing to relocate to Florida where he will continue his work on uncrewed systems with the US Navy before returning to Australia later next year.





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