Serving in the same unit as his grandfather more than 60 years ago has been a privilege for Corpraol (CPL) Timothy Kanowski.
With nearly 13 years of technical experience under his belt, CPL Kanowski became an instructor at the RAAF School of Technical Training in 2018.
“I was honoured to be chosen for this teaching role, not only because it was good recognition of my technical expertise, but also because my grandfather served here as an avionics instructor in the 1950s,” CPL Kanowski said.
CPL Kanowski joined in 2005 after his friend CPL Aaron Somerville convinced him to look into RAAF technical career options.
“A technical job in the RAAF would not only allow me to pursue my interest in aviation and automotive fields, it would also allow me to defend my country while contributing towards operations to help other countries that are less fortunate than Australia,” he said.
“I joined as an aircraft technician; we are mechanics for the aircraft and specialise in maintenance and sustainment of aircraft.”
CPL Kanowski said his RAAF aircraft technician career has given him many unique experiences, which he would not have experienced as a civilian.
“I’ve participated in four major military exercises and deployed to the Middle East to test and further develop my skills,” he said.
CPL Kanowski has fixed Caribou aircraft in Townsville, maintained Navy helicopters in Nowra and worked with Super Hornet aircraft in Ipswich.
“One of the most memorable experiences I’ve had was working on the Caribou aircraft at 38SQN,” he said.
“Our aircraft got bogged during a training mission at Papua New Guinea and we had to use rope and men from a nearby village to pull the aircraft free from the soft ground.
“Later on that trip the aircraft had a component failure. While we waited for our parts to arrive we had the opportunity to explore the region, make friends with the locals and truly appreciate the food and culture.
“After we fixed the aircraft, I got to see some of the most breathtaking landscapes from the window of the aircraft as we departed. It was truly a fantastic experience.”
CPL Kanowski said his Townsville posting has been life-changing.
“Joining the RAAF has also allowed me to meet my beautiful wife Rennae; if it wasn’t for my posting to Townsville I wouldn’t have met her,” he said.
“We now have three incredible children and I feel truly blessed every day.
“Another thing I love about being in the ADF is the friendly Defence community.
“I live in a military village at Kapooka and the members in our street are like a second family.
“We have dinners together, care for each other’s kids, talk and unwind while spending time with our honorary family members.”