Flying Officer Aiden Pattison has seen the photos, now it’s his turn to stand where people have served before him in the Middle East, when he joined the 2023 Anzac Day Services on Operation Accordion.
CAPTION: Royal Australian Air Force Flying Officer Aiden Pattison reflects on those who served before him on Operation Accordion in the lead to Anzac Day 2023 at Australia’s operating base in the Middle East Region. Story and photos by Corporal Melina Young.
“It’s that little bit extra special to be here,” Flying Officer Pattison said.
“It’s time to reflect on everyone who’s come before us, and being deployed gives new meaning to it.
“To see the work the ADF has done and experience firsthand an engineering role in the Middle East is surreal.”
A position for an engineer on deployment is competitive, and Flying Officer Pattison, of 65 Squadron at RAAF Base Townsville, said he was fortunate to get a place.
“My unit needed nominations that day, so I sat down with the commanding officer and executive officer to plead my case – we instantly put a plan in place to make it happen,” he said.
“It means a lot to represent my team and the Royal Australian Air Force over here.”
Flying Officer Pattison planned to read a poem during the dawn vigil on Anzac Day but, like many plans, things can go awry.
“Engineering works can suddenly come up and we will have to figure out a way to attend Anzac Day commitments and oversee project works that are still going on here,” he said.
Flying Officer Pattison sent his love back to his wife Liz, his dog Whisky, his parents in Katherine and his brother in Sale.