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Annual Report 2014–15

Staff Profiles

Mick Jansen

Dealing with crises—a rewarding job

Group Captain Mick Jansen, as the Director of Current Military Commitments, deals with the day-to-day issues arising from crises occurring within Australia, the wider region and across the world.

‘Before my current posting at Military Strategic Commitments, I’ll admit that I’d had very little exposure to the practicalities of how Defence translated government intent into military action. After my two years here, my strong feeling is that it’s vital to have good people, who are enthusiastic about their work, and willing to work collegiately across a wide range of departmental cultures to get things running smoothly’, said Mick.

Mick joined the Air Force through the Australian Defence Force Academy in 1987, before completing the No. 156 Pilot’s Course and being posted to fly P-3C Orion aircraft at RAAF Edinburgh from 1992. He completed a number of flying tours at both No. 10 and No. 11 squadrons, before being appointed in 2009 to command No. 10 Squadron, flying AP-3C Orion aircraft.

‘I’ve been very fortunate in my flying career to have taken part in a number of search and rescue missions, but the most memorable for me was a mission to keep watch over an Australian fishing vessel that had foundered on a reef during a storm. We spent more than 12 hours airborne, and circled over the vessel keeping in constant contact with the captain. During a debrief with him a few weeks later, he said that hearing and seeing the aircraft circling overhead kept the morale of the crew going, and that we had been essential in getting them through the night prior to rescue’, said Mick.

‘At Military Strategic Commitments, as well as providing strategic advice and planning guidance for military operations, we are part of the whole-of-government team that ensures the federal government responds in the best way possible to humanitarian disasters. In particular, we have to work closely with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade during overseas crises and with Emergency Management Australia for domestic disasters.’

Mick noted that, with only eight staff officers in the team, covering the full range of global crises—from the loss of Malaysia Airlines MH370 and MH17, to tropical cyclones in the Philippines, Vanuatu and Solomon Islands, to bushfires in South Australia, to cyclones in Queensland and the Northern Territory—made for a very busy area.

‘Seeing the team come together and work with colleagues at Head Quarters Joint Operations Command, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Emergency Management Australia to achieve the outcome of relieving suffering among affected communities is one of the most rewarding aspects of the work here at Military Strategic Commitments.’