A Qantas pilot is among 18 new specialist reservists who will join the RAAF after completing an initial induction course at RAAF Base Wagga.
Flying Officer Owen Zupp has clocked up 20,000 flight hours over 30 years and is also a former contributor to Australian Aviation.
“My father, Flying Officer Phillip Zupp, flew 201 fighter missions during the Korean War after having initially trained as a navigator with the RAAF in World War II,” said FLGOFF Zupp.
“My dad also served in New Guinea with the Army’s 2/10 Cavalry Commando Squadron and the British Commonwealth Occupation Force in Japan.
“My mother, Corporal Edith Blight, served as a radar operator with the Women’s Auxiliary Australian Air Force in World War II before re-enlisting post-war as part of the first Women’s Royal Australian Air Force recruit course.”
FLGOFF Zupp has been tasked with working as a flight instructor with Cadet Branch’s Elementary Flight Training School at RAAF Base Richmond and supporting Air Force’s centenary year writing project.
He joins 17 other recruits including a forensic dentist, emergency physician, physiotherapist, chaplain, Indigenous liaison officer, legal officers and public affairs officers.
Director of the Workforce Integration, Group Captain Joanna Elkington, said the new recruits would provide the RAAF with critical capability when required.
“Specialist reservists bring years of experience, expertise and training from their civilian careers, supplementing Air Force’s capability in the fulltime force,” GPCAPT Elkington said.
“They are a critical part of Air Force’s workforce and we warmly welcome our newest officers.”
Squadron Leader Andrew Marks, who is among the new reservists, currently works as a staff specialist anaesthetist at Sydney’s Royal North Shore Hospital.
“Following the Boxing Day Tsunami, I witnessed how the Australian Defence Force provided medical assistance in Sumatra, which involved undertaking 70 aero-medical evacuations and providing 3,700 medical treatments,” SQNLDR Marks said.
“I was drawn to this type of humanitarian work and the opportunity to use my skills in a completely different environment.”
He is now posted to No. 3 Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron.