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Bethany Magner - Canberra

Canberra Girls Grammar School graduate and current Leading Aircraftwoman Bethany Magner always knew she wanted a career in the Air Force.

Enlisting as an Armament Technician in 2013 having spent her whole life in the Canberra and Queanbeyan area, she notched a significant career milestone recently as part of Air Force's Explosive Ordnance Disposal Section in No. 65 Squadron and by qualifying as an Explosive Ordnance Reconnaissance Technician.

"From a young age I was very interested in joining the Air Force, I was drawn to the more technical and maintenance roles, as that is what interested me most," Leading Aircraftwoman Magner said.

"After finishing recruit training, I then studied at the RAAF School of Technical Training qualifying as an Armament Technician, before posting into No. 1 Squadron with the Super Hornets in 2014.

"I was fortunate enough to deploy to the Middle East as part of Operation Okra."

The Australian Defence Force contributed to the international effort to combat the Daesh terrorist threat in Iraq and Syria via the operation, closely coordinated with the Iraqi government, Gulf nations and a broad coalition of international partners.

"I also did several other rewarding exercises, such as Exercise Red Flag at Nellis Air Base in the United States and multiple to trips to Townsville, Williamtown and Darwin.

"In my previous role, our day to day duties would include maintenance on the aircraft such as before flights, flight line maintenance as well as our specialised role of armament.

"That consists of building and loading bombs, missiles and bullets, as well as countermeasures on the aircraft and the testing of those systems.

"The operational deployment was very important to me as it was at the end of my time at No. 1 Squadron and using the skills that I'd learnt over four years in a high-tempo, operational role was really fulfilling."

Leading Aircraftwoman Magner works at Defence Establishment Orchard Hills, near Penrith New South Wales, where she gained additional qualifications for her new role.

"I had to complete multiple courses including in demolitions and explosive ordnance.

"The Demolitions Operators' Course qualified me to dispose of any Australian Defence ordnance on any Australian ranges.

"Explosive Ordnance Reconnaissance qualifications authorise us to dispose of foreign and domestic explosive ordnance up to 160mm diameter, not including guided or chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear weapons.

"Working in explosive ordnance disposal has been a goal of mine, it is a unique and interesting role in the Air Force."

Leading Aircraftwoman Magner recently participated in Exercise Regal Burrow simulating humanitarian assistance and disaster relief responses.

"It exposed me to assembling and building our own airbase, as well as seeing different explosive ordnance disposal teams working in different environments.

"As a junior member of the team, I watched how my peers and superiors assessed and responded to different explosive ordnance related scenarios."

To join the Air Force or learn more about explosive ordnance roles visit the Defence Jobs website.