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Andrea Hateley - Stawell

Spending a life growing up surrounded by the beautiful countryside in Stawell, Victoria you could be forgiven for never wanting to leave.

But for Andrea 'Andy' Hateley, travel and adventure beckoned.

With her uncle, retired Army Sergeant Murray Tulloch, having spent 20 years committed to the services Andrea thought this might be the adventure she was looking for.

Having just celebrated 15 years service in the Air Force, FLTLT Andy Hateley reflects on an incredible career and everything she has achieved since leaving her hometown.

"I have had some amazing experiences and travelled the world with the Air Force" she said.

"From conducting disaster relief in Vanuatu, naval exercises with the United States in Hawaii, air combat exercises with the Royal Malaysian Air Force in Butterworth [Malaysia] and three deployments in the Middle East, my roles have been so different.

"I never expected to travel so extensively. I've been really lucky, met some wonderful people and had incredible experiences."

Reflecting on the upcoming ANZAC Day commemoration whilst deployed as part of the Air Task Group for Operation OKRA, Andy is grateful for the opportunities a career in the Air Force has given her.

"I feel really fortunate to live in Australia," she said.

"We are a lucky country and working in the Air Force has allowed me to make a difference in the world.

"Seeing what our team is achieving over here has been a very satisfying and rewarding experience."

FLTLT Hateley is currently deployed as the Staff Officer to Commander Air Task Group, Air Commodore Michael Kitche,r who commands approximately 350 personnel, up to 8 F/A-18 Hornets, a KC-30A Multi Role Tanker Refueller aircraft, an E-7A Wedgetail command and control aircraft, and Australian personnel embedded in airspace control agencies managing Iraq and Syria.

"Air Commodore Kitcher's role here on Operation OKRA is very demanding and anything I can do to assist him and make his job easier is important," she said.

"He is required to make some very tough decisions and my job is to make sure that he has everything he needs in order to make those decisions efficiently."

The Air Task Group of Operation OKRA is operating at the request of the Iraqi Government within a US-led international coalition assembled to disrupt and degrade Daesh operations in the Middle East Region.

Personnel deployed across the Middle East Region will be commemorating ANZAC Day with a Dawn Service alongside their deployed coalition partners.