Reflecting on 45 years’ service

Being taught to be agile from a young age has ensured one aviator could happily serve and adjust to the changes within the Royal Australian Air Force over the past 45-plus years.

CAPTION: Sergeant Peter Delaney, from Weapon Training Section at No.23 Squadron, displays his second Federation Star and sixth clasp to his Defence Long Service Medal, for 45 years of service with the Royal Australian Air Force, at RAAF Base Amberley, Queensland. Story by Flight Lieutenant Suellen Heath. Photo by Leading Aircraftwoman Taylor Anderson.

Sergeant Peter Delaney has had the honour of receiving his second Federation Star for 45 years’ service by Commander Combat Support Group Air Commodore David Paddison in the lead-up to Combat Support Group’s 25th birthday.

Sergeant Delaney, who grew up in Ringwood East, has not only shown agility through four mustering changes, but also by being the eldest of six.

“I was put in touch with a member of our church who worked in the Royal Australian Air Force recruiting in Melbourne, and that’s where it all started,” Sergeant Delaney said.

“I never imagined I would last my first enlistment period of six years, yet here I am 46 years later wishing they’d increase the retirement age so I could do more.

“Military life can be challenging, but if you really want a career in the service then you have to put in the time and effort for it to be rewarding.”

Sergeant Delaney initially started out as a steward, then a general hand, before re-mustering in 2014 to Air Base Protection, before spending the remainder of his career as a Royal Australian Air Force security aviator.

Some of Sergeant Delaney’s career highlights included working the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games – known as Operation Acolyte – as part of the tri-service security teams and deploying to the Middle East as part the force protection team for Operation Slipper in 2013.

“I now train somewhere between 2000 to 4000 people per year from all three services and other personnel either on exchange or lateral transfer.

“I enjoy every single day interacting with them,” Sergeant Delaney said.

“However, I could never commit more than a lifetime to the service I love if I did not have the support from my loving family.

“They have put up with last-minute taskings, call-outs at all hours, enough overtime to fill several C-17A Globemaster aircraft, and yet they are still beside me even as I battle some health problems.

“My family still support and help me continue my duties within the Royal Australian Air Force.

“If I can give one bit of advice to not only aviators but all Defence personnel, it would be – no matter what you are doing at the moment, use it as a stepping stone to your eventual goal, whether in the service or out.”







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Posted by Brian Hartigan

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