Gary Kohn
Flight Sergeant
Avionics Technician
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 & 4th Clasp
Australian Defence Medal
Meritorious Unit Citation – 92WG
Return from Active Service Badge
Arm Tech (AB/LAC- CPL (1984-1997)
AVTECH (CPL – FSGT (2001- present)

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 and 9 months and in 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 with whom I still keep in contact 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 left me with bittersweet 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 into who I am today. I have been able to advance my learning capacity and 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. I enlisted in 1981 and transferred from the Navy to the Air Force in 1984. I have served at RAAF  Edinburgh (EDN), RAAF  Richmond, was posted on promotion in 1990 to Corporal (CPL) at RAAF EDN at 492 SQN. In 1997, I discharged to run my own business as an Industrial Environment Control as a sub-contractor. In 2001, I re-enlisted in the RAAF and posted to 10SQN at RAAF EDN on the P3 Orion as a CPL Avionics Technician (AVTECH with Arm Tech skills recognised). I was promoted in 2002 to Sergeant (SGT) as an Avionics Technician at 10SQN managing a crew of 15 maintenance personnel, and gained dual authorisation as an Independent Inspector in aircraft maintenance for Avionics and Armament trades.

In 2007, I was posted to Defence Establishment Orchard Hills Training School (DEOTS) where I was an Instructor for Armament Trade Supervisors, Explosive Ordnance Managers & Armament Officer Courses. The following year I was 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. In 2012, I was 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 and ground servicing equipment used on the Flight Line for aircraft maintenance.

In 2013, I was 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 Managers and the Air Force Personnel Branch to ensure that the postings of technical personnel were meeting ADF and unit Capabilities.

In 2015, I was posted to the 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 the whole of Army Aviation. This job entailed me working as a Compliance Officer representing the Regulator, auditing both Army and Civilian Contractors, and ensuring they were complying with Airworthiness Regulations, Procedures and Processes of ADF aircraft.

In October 2017,  I was posted to Headquarters Defence Force Recruiting (HQDFR) in 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. In 2022, I was posted to P8 Poseidon Depot as Maintenance Manager in the Surveillance and Response Systems Programs Office – I am currently Supply and Performance Analyst in the P8 Management Unit.