My Story (This page is not suitable for children)
This tale does have a beginning before my time in the RAAF, however I won't go there. This story has been constructed from memory as well as my service documents. If you are easily offended donít read this story it is full of swearing and foul language. I have taken a fairly big stick to some of my supervisors and they deserve it. Many of my supervisors were good leaders and they taught me a great deal. To the good leaders thank you for your guidance and friendship, to the bad you can go and get fucked, and this wont be the first time you have heard this from me. All of you who had a chance to make our lives better and didnít act I hope you can live with the guilt for the suffering and death you have caused.
30 October 1978
Enlisted in the RAAF at Townsville Recruiting. I should have taken the hint on this day. After doing all the normal I do stuff that you do when joining I handed over my little bundle of documents. My birth certificate was missing!!! Bugga I was told by the officer no Birth Cert no join go away. So head hung low I head off home. Along the way I drop into the girl friends house to tell the sad story. Her father just happened to be the previous Recruiting officer, he asked me to explain exactly what I had done that day. After I had finished he said my lad you are in the RAAF. He made a phone call and next thing you know Ian is on his way to Adelaide to be bashed into what the RAAF calls an Airman.
After learning how to march and shine shoes I am off to Wagga to learn how to fix aircraft. What follows is a year of fun, learning and bastardisation and all else that is being a trainee at Wagga.
Bright shinny and new I arrive at Amberley on posting to 3AD. My first workshop is the Fuel Shop in Sumpie section overhauling TF30 engine accessories. Almost a year passes and suddenly the call comes from Deseal Reseal. An arsehole by the name of Bob is selected to go work at Deseal Reseal. We all sigh with relief and Bob walks around saying fuck a lot and complaining to anyone who will listen. Bob being the fucking arse wipe that he is manages to scam his way out of going to Deseal Reseal. Guess who the fuckers picked to go in his place.
What a charming place, at the time I arrive its being run by the 3 Stooges with various dickheads for NCOs playing the evil henchmen role. I arrive during a hand pick phase and my introduction to the tanks is F2. I can recall my first impressions on getting into the tank, and its fuck I don't like this I had problems breathing not due to fumes but the fear of being enclosed in the tank. Then came the panic attack, it took all my will power to over come the urge to get out of the tank and say fuck you find some other fool to do this. But like the good little airman that I was I stayed and did my job. After about 30 minutes I had my initiation to Deseal. An airline appeared in the bottom of the tank, attached to this was an ansell pink glove. What the fuck! This glove then begins to expand rapidly, What the fuck!! The exit is blocked by this rapidly expanding glove. Finally when the pressure inside exceeds what the glove can handle.... BANG!!! What the FUCK!!! And Ian is wet the friggin glove is filled (was) water! What follows is a most unpleasant year that will put a black mark on the rest of my Air force career. I become a very angry young man. The rage that I feel is directed at every NCO and SNCO in the section at the time I didn't really understand why. My AER's are shockers I find my career being threatened by the dickheads I am working for. They tell me if I don't pick my game up I will re-mustered to a GH. I call there bluff on that one and tell the arseholes to trade test me or shut the fuck up. They didn't use that one again but my attitude didn't win me any friends. I got all my AER's (207's) and the ones from this time made interesting reading. What can I say but the people I worked for in Deseal were fucking arseholes. How big an asshole were some? On one occasion during night shift on a chemical phase, my girlfriend rang (now my wife) she was in a bad domestic situation with her parents and needed my help. I went to asshole 1 and explained the problem and asked if I could go help my girlfriend. He said fine that's ok but Arsehole 1 & 2 wanted to talk first. So after a few minutes of shit from arsehole 1 & 2 I was allowed to go. The next morning (Saturday) the screws are wondering around the blocks looking lost and dumb, you all remember how dumb these fuckers were. Anyhow they say do you know LAC Fraser? Yup sure do dats me... Oh ok you need to come with us you have been report AWOL..... What the fuck when was I AWOL I said? Last night... No I wasn't! FSGT Arsehole 1 said I could go, I tell them... To which they say FSGT Arsehole 1 is the one who reported you AWOL... They lying sack of shit set me up. So off I go with the screws. I put up with a few hours of good cop bad cop shit. When it becomes clear to me that they aren't going to let me go without a great deal of bullshit happening, I decide to play their silly game and make a very long statement which the bad cop writes down and then types this very long statement. And after all his hard work I refuse to sign it, this upsets bad cop a great deal. So anyhow the day comes for the march the guilty bastard in. I give my version of the events from that night. And I get the typical are you calling FSGT Arsehole 1 a liar. To which I say yes. Anyhow the outcome is guilty and I get 2 weeks CB. The fuckwit hearing the charge says after you have marched out come back in because I want to talk to you. So out the door I march, I turn around walk back to the desk look him in the eye and I say ďI don't give a fuck what you have to say because you're a narrow-minded fucking idiotĒ He sits behind the desk making fish faces as I walk out past the WOD who looks like he's about to say something. He looks at me and I look back and he just moves out of my way. You know the fuckers could have nailed me to wall for that one it was clearly insubordination and in front of many witnesses. Nothing was said about it. I wondered around for days enraged by this bullshit. My time in Deseal continues with what I feel are occasional times of normality even the dickheads seem happy with how I am performing. There are times of anger and rage that I donít fully understand, looking back now I see these as mood swings and to this day I still have to deal with this.
Life as a Desealer is the life of a social outcast, the smell that is a constant companion and a source of embarrassment when out in public. Then there are the moods that those closest to you have to deal with. From the RAAF there is no sympathy or understanding of the issues faced. What had once been a normal well adjusted airman is now an angry smelly airman.
Back to Sumpie Section (But not for long)
My time at Deseal comes to an end and I am sent back to Sumpie section. My reputation precedes me back to Sumpie section and I find myself in a great job there. I find myself filing and blending an endless supply of compressor blades, another mindless soul destroying job that I am informed I will be doing until the end of time. It would seem that the end of time was only 4 days away. The grumpy old fart that ran 3AD engine section at the time employed the standard tactic of the day he dumped this so called trouble maker on another section. I had worked for this old fart for 4 days I hadnít done a thing wrong in that time. This was the beginning of what would follow me for the rest of my Air Force career. I was tagged as a trouble maker.
Back to the world of Framies
This job that the old fart found me was back in the control of the same group of assholes that I worked for in Deseal. I spent 6 months in the F111 Tool Store in Hanger 410 doing GSE maintenance. It was better than filing compressor blades but I never got a break from the reputation that I developed in Deseal. All I wanted to do was forget and move on but the assholes just wouldnít let me.
Back to Sumpie Section (Almost)
My time at the Tool Store was at an end and I was being sent back to Sumpie section and no doubt back to my old friends the compressor blades. I was doing my clearance form and the new OIC was on the list to see. This young guy was only new and probably hadnít had the word on what an asshole I was or maybe this was the first person who was giving me a chance.
3AD Rotary Wing Flight
It turns out that he needed a Sumpie at 3AD Rotary Wing Flight. A move to Rotary Wing Flight was reserved for the best and fairest of Sumpie section (the suck ups) and here I was considered as one of the biggest assholes in Sumpie section being told that I now work at Rotary Wing Flight. I spent a few weeks working on the Canberra bombers this was short lived as the Canberra's were retired from service at this time. I then found myself on the Chinook and Iroquois R4 servicing line. I didnít know at the time but there were moves to try and get a more favoured son into Rotary Wing and me back to my old friends the compressor blades. It took just over 12 months and the crying snot suck up that wanted my job got their way and I was on my way back to the compressor blades.
Back to Sumpie Section (Almost)
Clearance form in hand and into the OIC's office again. I asked him why I was being moved out and I explained that over 12 months of experience would be wasted, I havenít done my Iroquois courses and I have applied for a posting to the Sinai Peace keeping force and without that course I wouldnít have a chance. He looked up at me from behind his desk and said I had no idea that you were so keen, your supervisors had told me a different story. He took the clearance form and tore it up. He said you will be on the next available course go back to work. Now that didnít win me too many friends but fuck them I got to stay and do my course and eventually a posting to Sinai Peacekeeping force.
The MFO and RWAU
I was 1 of only 2 guys to be posted from 3AD to the Sinai. What a delight this was I managed to get away from the assholes that had been haunting me since Deseal Reseal. I had a fresh start I spent most of my time there working on the flight line as the bosses figured I needed that experience. It was a huge change in culture I went from Depot level to Operational with no squadron experience in the middle. I thrived on the challenge and found my calling in the RAAF I loved the helicopter world. To my delight I was posted to 35 Sqn from the Sinai finally I was going back to my home town, Townsville.
What a shock I arrive at 35 Sqn and the first person I see is Bob! The fucking asshole I went to Deseal Reseal for. The dipshit had got a compassionate posting to Townsville. I should have taken it as bad omen. One of the fuckers that was a supervisor at Deseal was also at 35 Sqn. Life at times is just not fair. I had worked hard to overcome the reputation I earned at Deseal but life continued to serve me shit sandwiches. I have good reason to believe that I was promoted to Corporal at 35 Sqn but it would seem that this was blocked because of feedback form people who should have just shut the fuck up. After this my AERís just never made the grade again. So maybe I was just really an asshole and a bad tradesman. I challenged some of my AERís and all this seemed to do was sour the relationship with my supervisors even more. I decided then to just try and settle in and enjoy 35 Sqn We come to the time in our life when our third child is on the way. My wife is suffering from a heart condition and it wasnít too much of an issue for the first two children. However kid three is starting to cause trouble Kangaroo 89 is on and its one of the biggest deployments of helicopters since the Sinai. We head of to Darwin I have some concerns about my wife but she says thatís she is fine. Towards the end of K89 my wife is admitted to hospital with heart problems the pregnancy is causing problems. I am sent home early to be with my wife by the time I get home from WA my wife is out of hospital. But the problems are ongoing and she needs to rest. I go to the orderly room to apply for some long service leave so that I can help to look after the other children and my wife. When I give the paper work to the orderly room Sargent and explain why he asks me to wait while he goes to the COís office. He comes out with the CO following him. The CO invites me to his office and tears up the long service leave application. And says you have one month on me, go look after your family. Now if the Air force had more officers like this, what a wonderful place it would be. My wife is almost full term when a Green X is planned for the Sqn. I go to the WOE and explain that this is not a good time for me, now this man displays great compassion and says tough shit boy youíre going on the Green X. Well one of my mood swings kicks in my wife had been in and out of intensive care over the last couple of months, and this asshole just wonít listen. I tell him he can put his Green X where the sun doesnít shine. My next visit is to Base Medical where I ask to see the Senior Medical officer. I explain to him the problem and he calls my wifeís doctor, they talk doctor talk for a while and he hangs up. He looks at me and says you are not going anywhere lad. He calls the CO and explains the problem. The CO agrees 100% that I am not going on the Green X. By the time I get back to the Section the WOE is waiting, well heís not a happy camper and proceeds to tell me so, and my response was I told you I wasnít going and I just turned around and walked away. The day the Sqn deployed on the Green X my wife was admitted to intensive care again.
Now fate had another twist. One of the worst military decisions in peace time was made. The helicopters were to be transferred to Army. What the fuck were they thinking and one can only assume they werenít thinking. This decision must have been made after to many Ports in the officerís mess. History now shows how much of a mistake this was and my opinions on this are a whole other story. I now find myself as a helicopter person in an Air Force without helicopters. So here I was at 35 Sqn with no helicopters a hostile WOE who took every chance to make my life unpleasant. The specialist had told us that my wifeís heart condition could now be treated but, we needed to be in Brisbane. So I apply to DPA for a compassionate posting to Amberley.
Back to Sumpie Section (The buggers finally get me back)
3AD again finally they get me back to Sumpie section and I am dumped in a shit hole called Rework. Oh well they must have remembered me from when I was at 3AD last time well at least it wasnít blades section. It was during my time at Rework that my health started to change. I had increasing problems trying to maintain fitness. I was riding a bike over 20klm to work and back every day but I wasnít getting fitter. It just got harder to do, I started to get fevers that would last for weeks and medical couldnít figure out what the problem was. This went on for months and still dose to this day with no answer as to why. During this I am promoted to Corporal along with every other LAC who had 3 years seniority. By this time I was the most senior LAC Engfitt II in the Air force. I finished my time (almost) in the Air force at Rework for a long time I was NCO i/c of Rework which was position that I enjoyed. But the Air force had to have the last laugh. My last workshop in the Air force is the same workshop that I had started in 20 years before. Back on the same bench doing the same job that I had done as an AC 20 years ago. I had been an NCO and Trade supervisor for over 5 years and these assholes had to send me back to the same job I had done 20 years ago. I wasnít a happy little camper over this and I spent my last few months in the Air force giving shit to my superiors. All they had to do now was complete the package and send me to Deseal Reseal again.
There was some justice in the Air Force Bob the asshole was sent back to 3AD after a couple of years at 35 Sqn, when he was due for re-engagement they asked him to leave, and the Air force was a better place for that decision.
My health continues to be a problem but I keep going on, I have made a success out of my life after the Air Force. There have been set backs I was made redundant from a place that I had worked at for 5 years after I left the Air force, it was a shock at the time but I had developed skills that were in need. I now live in a nice house and drive a nice car my children all go to a private school. My life now by any measure is a success but because of what the air force did to me over 25 years ago that life I have worked hard to achieve is at risk. My wife and children stand to loose all that I have worked for since I left the Air force. To put it simply thatís just not fair.