Leading Aircraftman (LAC) Christopher Crouch-Tinning could not contain himself when he saw his partner, Ashleigh, after three months apart while he was deployed to the Middle East on Operation ACCORDION.
Currently deployed to the Expeditionary Airbase Operations Unit as an Aircraft Security Officer, LAC Crouch-Tinning is one of the airmen responsible for the security of RAAF aircraft in some of the most dangerous parts of the world.
LAC Crouch-Tinning said he and his partner were about to start a European summer holiday, where the Royal Australian Air Force airman intended to propose to his long-term girlfriend.
"I was planning on asking her to marry me in Rome but when I saw her at the airport, the excitement of it all got to me, so I just had to do it there," he said.
"The airport wasn't the best location, but it was better than her finding the ring, or me losing it!"
"I originally joined the RAAF to see the world, learn new things, and do something that is 'out of the ordinary'," he said.
oined in 2009, I've travelled to Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as doing multiple exercises around Australia.
"They're not the best holiday destinations, but they were unique experiences."
Alongside his aircraft security role, LAC Crouch-Tinning also assists other ADF personnel deployed to Australia's main operating base in the Middle East region, Camp Baird, in maintaining their weapons skills.
"Because we're trained on a number of different weapons, we can assist in running ranges for the other personnel who are deployed.
"Even when on a deployment, it's important for all of us to maintain our skills with the weapons we're qualified on, in case we need to use them."
LAC Crouch-Tinning said he would recommend a career with the RAAF to anyone who was interested.
"Being in the RAAF is an excellent lifestyle. You get opportunities to make new mates, as well as see the world.
"Every day is different, each presents its own challenges which make you think outside of the box."
LAC Crouch-Tinning returns to RAAF Base Williamtown, outside of Newcastle, later in the year, where he will reunite with his now-fiancé Ashleigh and their three children, Nickolai, Makalya and Arabella.
EAOU personnel deployed on Operation ACCORDION support and sustain Australian Defence Force operations in the Middle East region, enable contingency operations and enhance regional relationships.
About 500 ADF personnel are deployed on Operation ACCORDION throughout the region.