LONG WAY FROM SUNSHINE COAST HOME FOR KC-30A CREW ATTENDANT
Corporal Maddie Dillon has flown far and wide since joining the RAAF as a Crew Attendant, currently serving in the Middle East flying in KC-30A air-refuelling aircraft Operation OKRA.
Corporal Dillon grew up on the Sunshine Coast, where her family still live today. Maddie is looking forward to joining them at home for Christmas.
“I went to Nambour Christian College, and I did competitive running for years in cross-country,” she said.
“It was a really great place to grow up, and I love being able to go back and visit.”
After weighing up her options between Army and Air Force, Corporal Dillon decided becoming a Crew Attendant was the job for her, so she joined the Air Force in 2014 when she was 19 years old.
“I was really interested in the travel aspect of being a Crew Attendant, it’s a great job,” she said.
“I also get to see more of the operational side being at 33 Squadron, as opposed to VIP jets.”
At home base at RAAF Amberley, Corporal Dillon is not far from home, serving with 33 Squadron “Every day is different back in Australia, sometimes we’re training and sometimes we’re refuelling other aircraft,” she said
“The job role is great; we have a really dynamic workplace.”
Corporal Dillon is currently deployed to Australia’s main operating base in the Middle East, flying missions most days of the week in support of Coalition aircraft.
“I’m still doing the same job here as I would be doing at home, like administration, organising catering, and food service, but there’s plenty more to do because we’re on an operation,” she said.
“I also need to do weapons handling and ensure our survival kits are fully stocked and functional in case we have an emergency.”
Corporal Dillon said the highlight of being deployed is being able to see other nations at work and how they work.
“It’s good to see a different point of view outside our own bubble,” she said. “I’m also enjoying seeing familiar faces, and meeting new people. We’re like one big family.”
While Corporal Dillon loves the experience of being on operations, she is looking forward to seeing her family. “I’ll be going home to a new nephew, which is really exciting,” she said.
“My family are really supportive of me being in the Air Force.
“I hope I’ve inspired my younger brother to join. I’m the only person in our family to join the military and he’s seen me travel and do some amazing things.”