Our People in VICWilliam Harwood - Altona
Altona’s William Harwood has just been presented with a top RAAF award.
The Pathfinder Award, which is open to pilots, navigators and aircrew of the RAAF’s Air Lift Group, was presented to the Flight Lieutenant on April 8.
He was recognised for his efforts as a pilot on the C-130J Hercules transport aircraft at RAAF Base Richmond, west of Sydney.
His parents still live in Altona, and Flight Lieutenant Harwood learned to fly privately at Point Cook before joining the Air Force.
While William is a relatively junior member of the Air Lift Group, he has already led a busy career flying Hercules missions around Australia and the globe.
The Air Lift Group community is one of the busiest within the RAAF, routinely flying transport missions for the Australian Defence Force and supporting short-notice humanitarian missions.
The C-130J can transport up to 20 tonnes of cargo or up to 120 passengers. Advanced navigation systems, night-vision goggles and rugged landing gear can allow pilots to fly over challenging terrain and land on rough desert airstrips in the dark.
“There aren't many places that I've been that I would call forgettable!” William said.
“My tours of the Middle East have been definite highlights, because of the challenging yet extremely rewarding flying involved,” Flight Lieutenant Harwood said.
“I’ve been involved in four repatriations, as well as moving around the current Foreign Minister, and a recent Forces Entertainment Tour.“Locally, I’ve also flown a Hercules to Point Cook, the airfield where I learnt to fly before joining Air Force, and had the chance to show my family around the aircraft.”