Anzac Day holds special significance for the pilots, aircrew and engineers who work at Babcock’s base in Warrnambool, Victoria.
The majority of team members has served in the military at the Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) 4 base, which provides critical capability to Ambulance Victoria.
One team member, Matthew Doyle, continues to serve as a Reservist with the Royal Australian Air Force. He says the Anzac spirit is apparent to everyone who works at Warrnambool.
“The base has a distinctive Anzac feel to it, with Kiwis and Aussies working together,” he said.
“It’s not unusual to find ex-military staff working in Search and Rescue and Emergency Medical Services operations because the skill sets are relatively transferrable.”
Given current COVID-19 restrictions, Matthew and his team-mates at Warrnambool prepared to mark Anzac Day in a different way this year.
“Usually, members of the base who aren’t on shift attend the morning commemorative service and catch up at the RSL for a few beers afterwards,” he said.
“This year, with social isolation restrictions, they’ve observed Anzac Day in their own way, with family at home.”
Babcock’s New Zealand and Australian veterans currently working at HEMS 4 include:
- Dan Guillaumier (Pilot, Base Manager): Australian Army Aviation Corps Pilot and Flying Instructor. Dan flew Tiger and Kiowa helicopters.
- Pat Davitt (Senior Base Pilot, Check and Training Pilot): Royal Australian Navy Pilot and Flying Instructor. Pat flew Sea Hawk helicopters.
- Zac Hanson Boyd (Pilot): Australian Army Aviation Corps Pilot and Flying Instructor. Zac flew MRH-90 Taipan and Kiowa helicopters.
- Matthew Macpherson (Pilot): Australian Army Aviation Corps Pilot and Flying Instructor. Matthew flew Iroquois and Kiowa helicopters.
- Matt Doyle (Pilot): Royal Australian Air Force Loadmaster on C130 Hercules aircraft and Australian Army Aviation Corps Pilot and Flying Instructor. Matt flew Black Hawk, Iroquois and Kiowa helicopters. He is also a current Reservist at the Royal Australian Air Force working as a Flying Instructor.
- Rick Davies (Aircrewman): Royal New Zealand Armoured Corps Crewman and Royal New Zealand Air Force Helicopter Crewman. Rick flew on Iroquois & NH90 helicopters.
- Brett Hoy (Aircrewman): Royal Australian Armoured Corps Crewman and Australian Army Aviation Corps Aircrewman. Brett flew on Black Hawk and Chinook helicopters.
- David Morgan (Aircrewman): Royal New Zealand Navy Clearance Diver and Royal New Zealand Navy helicopter Aircrewman. David flew on Iroquois and Sea Sprite helicopters.
- Joel Young (Aircrewman): Royal Australian Navy Aircrewman and Royal Australian Navy Combat Systems Operator. Joel flew on Sea Hawk helicopters.
- Andrew Blain (Senior Base Engineer): Royal Australian Electrical and Mechanical Engineer Corps Aircraft Technician on Kiowa, Iroquois and Tiger helicopters.
Another member of the Babcock team, Guy Griffiths (Aircrewman), served in the Victoria Police Force for several years, finishing with the Police Air Wing before joining Babcock.
Located at Warrnambool airport, HEMS 4 primarily services the western region of Victoria as a part of Babcock’s strategic partnership with Ambulance Victoria.
Pictured above: Anzac Day 2018 (L-R) Rick Davies, Marc Anderson*, Connie Young, Dan Guillaumier, Andrew Blain, Brett Hoy
*Marc Anderson, ex-HEMS Base Manager, now works for Babcock’s offshore aviation team. He is also ex-ADF (Chinook and Black Hawk helicopters) and is ex-Royal Australian Engineers (RAE).