Every day is an opportunity for Matt Dobson to have a positive impact on someone’s life. He carried this sentiment through his 14 years of service in the Australian Defence Force, which continues today in his role of Chief Aircrew Officer where he leads Babcock Aircrew Officer and Rescue Crew Officer groups, providing mentoring, personal guidance and technical advice.
I joined the Australian Defence Force in 2001 as an Aircrewman, and later an Instructor on Iroquois, Blackhawk, Chinook and MRH90 aircrafts. My role involved airmobile operations and aerial gunnery by day and night. My service saw deployment to Timor-Leste, twice to the Solomon Islands and three times to Afghanistan, where we worked alongside US forces.
Of these tours, Afghanistan is the most memorable. During my time there, I operated a Combat Service Support aircraft which delivered people and cargo to outlying FOBs (Forward Operating Bases), as well as providing Combat Support to Australian and foreign Special Forces, conducting direct action missions.
While I am proud to have served my nation, I am most proud of my wife who, like many defence spouses, is an unsung hero. While I was on deployment, she kept the home front with two young daughters, always supporting my career goals and was fearless in the face of uncertainty when I entered warzones.