Mick Enchong
Mer (Murray) and Erub (Darnley) Islands – Zenadth Kes (Torres Strait)
Ngāti Whātua Māori tribe – Aotearoa (New Zealand)
Warrant Officer (retired)
Communications Electronics Technician CE TECH
Royal Australian Air Force
Afghanistan and Solomon Islands Veteran

Australian Active Service Medal with clasp ICAT
Afghanistan Medal
Australian Service Medal  with clasp Solomon Islands
Australian Long Service Medal
Australian Defence Medal

After completing a four year Electrical apprenticeship in Bowen Queensland, I joined the Royal Australian Air Force as a qualified Electrician in 1986. In 1991 I changed roles to Radio Technician Ground Systems (now known as Communications Electronics Technician CE TECH). My primary role was to maintain communications systems that enable RAAF capability. I worked on Airfield, Radar, Satellite, HF Communication and IT systems. In my role as CE Tech, I deployed to the Cocos Islands, to Malaysia and had postings to Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Townsville, Brisbane, and Canberra. For a small town country lad, I am thankful that Defence gave me an opportunity of seeing most of Australia and other overseas countries whilst doing my job.

I have had two Operational deployments, the first to the Solomon Islands in a peace keeping role, providing the Government of the Solomon Islands stability to de-escalate tension and to rebuild. This deployment was very rewarding personally. My unit provided a local school with support and constructed new facilities that would enable them to deliver education to their students more safely and comfortably. My second deployment, in November 2011, was to the Middle East Area of Operations (MEAO) where I deployed with Force Communications Unit (FCU) in support of Operation Slipper. During this time I had the honour and privilege of serving with both my children. I flew to the MEAO on the same aircraft as my daughter Tara (RAAF), who was based at Kandahar Airfield with the Herron Detachment. My son Jason (Army) then deployed into theatre in January 2012 and was based at Forward Operating Base FOB Wali, near Tarrin Kowt as part of the Mentoring Task Force Group.

During both my deployments, I have had the privilege of celebrating Anzac Day on these foreign lands. It was a time of reflection and I thought of how Servicemen and women, past, present and future, have and will continue to contribute to our Nation’s security and that is something I am very proud of.

Prior to my retirement in 2020, I believe I had the best job in the Air Force. I delivered Air Force Indigenous work experience programs around Australia. I introduced young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youths to the jobs, security and lifestyle Air Force could provide. By mentoring the participants and highlighting their potential, I was rewarded by seeing the self-belief they developed. Several participants have since joined the Air Force and are carving out successful career paths which I follow with great pride and interest.

Since retiring in 2020, I am comforted by the knowledge that the Air Force is now more culturally intelligent and competent than the 1986 version I joined.

What I am most proud of is building on the Legacy of my dad (John “Bunji” Enchong), who served twenty years in the Army. Now, through three generations we have collectively given over 100 years of service in the ADF across all three services.