Deployed in the middle of the outback with sunset vistas is one of the perks of Flying Officer Frances Bell’s job as a Logistics Officer with No. 3 Control and Reporting Unit (3CRU).
Flying Officer (FLGOFF) Bell is a country girl at heart and grew up in the small town of Robertson in the Southern Highlands. Perhaps this is why she enjoys camping out in the Northern Territory with her small team and tactical deployable radar system which is providing the air picture for Exercise Diamond Storm 2019.
As a child FLGOFF Bell remembers playing dress ups with her father’s Army Reserve cups canteen and uniform. After graduating high school she was working in the fitness industry and joined the Air Force through the Australian Defence Force Academy wanting career progression and more of a challenge.
Her first posting at 3CRU has exceeded her expectations and her favourite part of the job is turning on her out of office, getting away from the desk and deploying on exercise.
“At my home base of Williamtown I am responsible for the usual logistics functions of controlling the warehouse, overseeing procurement and managing personnel. When I am deployed on Exercise I am the Officer in Charge and take on more of a logistics operations officer role and am responsible for contingency planning,” said FLGOFF Bell.
“I was a part of Exercise Talisman Sabre 2017 and this year am working on top of a hill in Timber Creek for Exercise Diamond Storm.
“It took about six months of planning and was a long 4,000 kilometre drive but once we set up the equipment and see the Exercise is in action it’s a great sense of accomplishment.
“I’m currently working in a diverse team of about 20 maintainers and technicians in the middle of nowhere but honestly this is what I love.
“I have always loved the outdoors and the great thing about 3CRU is that our radar needs to be positioned up high which naturally means gorgeous views.
“Yesterday afternoon a C-130J Hercules was doing a tactical flying mission and flew right past our site as the sun was setting. I felt like I could reach out and touch it!
“Being able to go out field and play an integral role in missions is great. I love the variety of a career in Air Force and working with such interesting people,” said FLGOFF Bell.
FLGOFF Bell will celebrate her 30th birthday while deployed on Exercise Diamond Storm. She is hoping to spend the day with a barbeque of fresh caught barramundi as the generators hum and the radar keeps spinning.