Gary Kohn
Flight Sergeant
Royal Australian Air Force

Medals and Awards:
Australian Active Service Medal – ICAT & Iraq 2003 Clasps
IRAQ Medal
Australian Service Medal – SE Asia Clasp
Australian Operational Service Medal – Border Protection
Defence Force Service Medal – 1st, 2nd & 3rd Clasp
Australian Defence Medal
Meritorious Unit Citation – 92WG
Return from Active Service Badge

‘I left school at the age of 17 (Yr. 10) to join the services and have served my country for 33 years. I have had dual service in the Navy for 3 years, 9 months and the Air Force for 29 years and counting. I initially joined the Navy as an Air Technical Weapons Ordnance (ATWO) at HMAS Albatross – Naval Air Station Nowra, NSW. During this time, I was fortunate enough to meet some very interesting people and made a lot of new friends, which I still keep in contact with today.

I transferred to the Royal Australian Air Force in November 1984, and completed the Air Force Armament fitter conversion Course. This inter transfer came about due to the government of the day, disbanding the ATWO trade from the Navy’s Fleet Air Arm. This gave bitter and sweet feelings as I was leaving a whole lot of work mates, a local footy club and community friends behind, however they all supported my career change to the Air Force.

I have had the opportunity to travel around Australia and multiple countries. I have been fortunate enough to deploy to the Middle Eastern Area of Operations twice and enjoyed the experience. All the years of training came to fruition and it was a rewarding experience. Since joining the ADF, the opportunities that have been offered have developed me to whom I am today. I have been able to advance my learning capacity, receive quality training and support. The ADF is a huge family network. Being posted around the country broadens your life skills and knowledge as you are exposed to a myriad of challenges, both mentally and physically, especially when you’re out of your comfort zone.

During the progression of my ADF career, I have had multiple roles, responsibilities and experiences as listed below:

Feb 81 – Enlisted in the Navy – Air Technical Weapons Ordnance (ATWO).
May 81 – Posted to Naval Air Station Nowra at VC851 SQN (S2E/G Grumman Trackers).

Nov 84 – FAA transfer to the RAAF at RAAFSTT and underwent RAAF Armament Fitter conversion Course (2/84 Armourer) as a LAC Armament Mechanic.

Sep 85 – Posted to RAAF Edinburgh at 492 SQN as an Armament Fitter.

Jan 87 – Posted to RAAF Richmond at No 2 Aircraft Depot 

–  Depot Level Maintenance (DLM) on Armament Systems for Mirage, F111, Macchi & P3 Orion aircraft;

–  Intermediate Level Maintenance and DLM on C130 E/H Hercules, BOEING 707, Caribou, P3 Orion aircraft & Historical Flight (Dakota & Sabre aircraft)

–  Refurbished small arms, aircraft machine guns and restorations of miscellaneous weapons for RAAF Base Point Cook Museum.

May 90 – Posted on promotion to RAAF EDN at 492SQN (CPL Arm Tech).

Feb 97 – Discharged from the RAAF to run my own business in the area of Industrial Environment Control as sub-contractor.

Jul 2001 – Re-enlisted in-to the RAAF and posted to 10SQN at RAAF Base Edinburgh on the P3 Orion as a CPL Avionics Technician (AVTECH with Arm Tech skills recognised).

May 2002 – Promoted to Sergeant (SGT) as an Avionics Technician at 10SQN. Managed a crew of 15 maintenance personnel, and gained dual authorization as an Independent Inspector in aircraft maintenance for Avionics and Armament trades.

Jan 07 – Posted to Defence Establishment Orchard Hills Training School (DEOTS) where I was an Instructor for Armament Trade Supervisors, Explosive Ordnance Managers & Armament Officer Courses.

Jul 08 – Promoted to Flight Sergeant (FSGT) and posted to RAAF Base Edinburgh Maritime Patrol Systems Project Office (MPSPO) in the area of Maintenance Reliability Determination (MRD). In this position I was the facilitator for the engineering requests of Maintenance Interval Extension Requests in support of 92 WG operations for the P3 Orion aircraft.

Jan 12 – Posted to Headquarters 92WG as the Senior Non-Commissioned Officer In- Charge (SNCO) Flight-Line/Aircraft Support Equipment. As the SNCOIC, I managed the Flight Line area and three workshops for technical servicing equipment, ground servicing equipment used on the Flight Line for aircraft maintenance.

May 13 – Posted to 92WGHQ Human Resource Management as the SNCO Maintenance Personnel, this job entailed the transition of manning from the AP3-C Orion aircraft to the P8 Poseidon aircraft. The role was a conduit between 92WG Maintenance Mangers and Air Force Personnel Branch to ensure that the postings of technical personnel were meeting ADF and unit Capabilities.

Jan 15 – Posted to Directorate General Technical Airworthiness – Australian Defence Force, Department Aviation Compliance (DGTA-ADF DAVCOMP) at RAAF Base Laverton (RAAF Williams) as the Desk Officer / Compliance Assurance Officer for whole of Army Aviation. This job entailed me working as a Compliance Officer representing the Regulator, auditing both Army and Civilian Contractors ensuring they were complying to Airworthiness Regulations, Procedures and Processes of ADF aircraft.

Oct 17- Posted to Headquarters Defence Force Recruiting (HQDFR) into the role of Specialist Recruiting Team – Indigenous (SRT-I) working remotely in the Adelaide DFR office. This role has me liaising with community Elders/Influencers and Educators at multiple locations in NSW, SA and VIC.’

Arm Tech – 16 yrs (AB/LAC- CPL (1984-1997))

AVTECH – 17 yrs (CPL – FSGT (2001- 2018))