Aircraftman Hugh Allen from Cooma never expected his career in the Air Force would bring him to the Gold Coast to assist with security for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Far from his usual job as a Supplier at RAAF Base Richmond, Aircraftman Allen is on the Gold Coast with the Queensland Police Service (QPS) searching vehicles for suspicious items.
"Security is not my main job, so being able to do something like this with the Air Force is an opportunity I'd never knock back," Aircraftman Allen said.
The twenty-year-old said RAAF personnel from various trades and backgrounds were selected to assist Army personnel and the QPS with security for the Games.
"Everyone regardless of rank, was thrown in together and received training conducted by the 2nd Combat Engineer Regiment to prepare us for the role," Aircraftman Allen said.
The RAAF searchers received lessons on search theory and were examined conducting visual searches and physical checks to identify and locate prohibited items.
Feeling the excitement of doing something for one of the largest sporting events in Queensland's history, Aircraftman Allen considers himself lucky.
"It's definitely an experience - not many people can say that they have worked at the Commonwealth Games, especially those who work in my area," he said.
Being exposed to new and different opportunities is what attracted Aircraftman Allen to a career in Defence when he graduated from High School in 2016.
"I didn't want to go straight into university. I wanted a bit of challenge, so I decided to join to see where that path would take me," he said.
"I didn't expect to end up at the Games on operation only a year after joining!"
After enlisting in 2017 he completed 12 weeks of basic training and went on to 14 weeks of trade training at the School of Administration and Logistics Training at RAAF Base Wagga Wagga.
There he learnt the trade of a Supplier and on completion was posted to his current unit, Joint Logistics Unit – East in Sydney.
Happy with where his short career in the RAAF has taken him so far, Aircraftman Allen tried to convince his younger brother Charlie, who is also in the ADF, to follow in his path.
"I tried to convince Charlie to join the Air Force too, but despite the tough Army training I don't think he will change his mind," he said.
Content with his own decision, Aircraftman Allen is keen to squeeze in a day at the beach before returning home at the end of the Games, which are due to wrap up on April 15th.
There are more than 1000 ADF personnel deployed to Brisbane supporting the 2018 Commonwealth Games in various logistical, operational, support and transport roles.