Reserves keep planes flying
KEEPING the No. 33 Squadron (33SQN) workforce staffed with Reservists has earned CPL Hayley Geisler the 'Ground Support Officer of the Year' in the 2016 Pathfinder Awards.
Working as the 33SQN Reserve Liaison Officer, CPL Geisler is herself a Reservist, and said the shared sense of purpose with her Permanent Air Force peers was extremely fulfilling.
"I have been able to walk back into Air Force (as a Reservist) and establish strong and productive working relationship with key members across the squadron and No 86 Wing,” CPL Geisler said.
"I'm still able to remain in a high-tempo squadron and watching first hand the output of the KC-30A.”
'Ground Support Officer of the Year' is a recently-established Pathfinder Award, intended to recognise professional efforts of Air Mobility Group members in the maintenance, personnel and operational support space.
CPL Geisler's citation for the Pathfinder Award outlined her as an exemplar for Reservists who provide support to Operational Capability.
33SQN has a workforce of approximately 290, of whom 40 are Reservists.
Both the Permanent and Reservist workforce are committed around-the-clock to exercises and routine flying, not to mention a continuous deployment to the Middle East Region for Operation Okra.
The scope of work for 33SQN will only increase as an additional two KC-30As are acquired, and more aircraft are cleared to receive fuel from its boom.
The sustained high-tempo means 33SQN Reservists are an essential part of the unit's aircrew, maintenance, and operational support workforce.
"The work that we do is often fast paced and tasking changes at short notice,” CPL Geisler said.
"I have enjoyed the challenge of working in an active flying squadron and watching my part directly contribute to the exercise and operations that we take part in.”
"I work with a wonderful group of members who share a 'can do' attitude, and show immense strength in their work, attitudes and capability.”
CPL Geisler initially served a nine-year career with the Permanent Air Force, before joining the reserves in 2013.
She worked within the local community and as a Employment Advisor for Mission Australia, before enrolling in a Bachelor of Applied Social Science - Community Services.
Coming to 33SQN as a Reservist has allowed CPL Geisler to continue her studies as well as provide charity support.
"Returning to the Air Force as a reservist has given me the opportunity to continue my volunteer work with Make-A-Wish Foundation,” CPL Geisler said.
"33SQN has been incredibly accommodating and flexible with my working days and hours, which has made studying via distance less stressful.”