Warrant Officer of the Air Force

Warrant Officer of the Air Force (WOFF-AF) is the most senior Warrant Officer in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). It is a singular appointment, being it is only held by one person at any time. The special insignia for the WOFF-AF is the Australian coat of arms with a wreath around it. The current Warrant Officer of the Air Force is Robert Swanwick.[1]

Based on the United States Air Force practice of appointing a Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, the WOFF-AF is responsible to the Chief of Air Force (CAF). The post was created by the then Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Barry Gration, in 1993 to provide a conduit between Air Force's senior leadership and the airman ranks.[2]

The appointment is the equivalent of the Regimental Sergeant Major of the Army (RSM-A) in the Australian Army and Warrant Officer of the Navy (WO-N) in the Royal Australian Navy.

Warrant Officer of the
Royal Australian Air Force
(WOFF-AF)
=
Incumbent
Robert Swanwick

since 1 December 2015
StyleWarrant Officer of the Air Force (Warrant Officer)
Inaugural holderRichard ('Dick') Newton

Appointees

#
Name
Term
began
Term
ended
Notes
1 Richard ('Dick') Newton AM 15 February 1993 1996 [2]
2 Bryan Tuckey OAM 1996 1999
3 John Boydell June 1999 2 August 2002 [3][4]
4 Peter Hall AM 2 August 2002 2005 [3]
5 Ray Woolnough AM 2005 2008 [5][6]
6 John ('JJ') Millar AM 16 December 2008 4 November 2011 Promoted to Squadron Leader on leaving post[6][7]
7 Mark Pentreath CSM 4 November 2011 1 December 2015 [1][8]
8 Robert Swanwick 1 December 2015 Incumbent

Memorabilia

WOFF-AF coin
Challenge Coin of the Warrant Officer of the Air Force, Royal Australian Air Force; Specifically, WOFF-AF Mark Pentreath.

The WOFF-AF has some items that may be presented on occasion, such as the Challenge Coin.

References

  1. ^ a b "Warrant Officer of the Air Force". Our People. RAAF. Retrieved 22 January 2013.
  2. ^ a b "Warrant Officer of the Air Force" (PDF). Oral History Program - Snippets: No.3. Office of Air Force History.
  3. ^ a b "Our new WOFF". Air Force. 44 (11). June 2002. Retrieved 23 April 2013.
  4. ^ "Revved up for Retirement". Air Force. 44 (14). August 2002. Retrieved 23 April 2013.
  5. ^ "Last air mail for WOFF-AF" (PDF). Air Force. 50 (21): 2. November 2008.
  6. ^ a b "NEW WARRANT OFFICER OF THE AIR FORCE". Media Release MSPA 404/08. Ministerial Support and Public Affairs, Department of Defence. 16 December 2008. Retrieved 23 April 2013.
  7. ^ "Was a great ride, but JJ now on to next challenge" (PDF). Air Force. 53 (22): 2. November 2011.
  8. ^ "WOFF-AF new ground" (PDF). Air Force. 53 (22): 2. November 2011.

External links

Australian Defence Force ranks

The Australian Defence Force's (ADF) ranks of officers and enlisted personnel in each of its three service branches of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), the Australian Army, and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) inherited their rank structures from their British counterparts. The insignia used to identify these ranks are also generally similar to those used in the British Armed Forces.

The following tables show the "equivalent rank and classifications" for the three services, as defined in the ADF Pay and Conditions Manual. "Equivalent rank" means the corresponding rank set out under Regulation 8 of the Defence Force Regulations 1952.

Challenge coin

A challenge coin may be a small coin or medallion, bearing an organization’s insignia or emblem and carried by the organization’s members. Traditionally, they might be given to prove membership when challenged and to enhance morale. In addition, they are also collected by service members and law enforcement personnel. Modern challenge coins are made in a variety of sizes and are often made using popular culture references to include superheroes and other well known characters in a way that creates a parody. Historically, challenge coins were presented by unit commanders in recognition of special achievement by a member of the unit. They are also exchanged in recognition of visits to an organization. Modern day challenge coins feature popular culture attributes.

Chief Warrant Officer of the Air Force

The Chief Warrant Officer of the Royal Canadian Air Force is the senior non-commissioned officer in the Royal Canadian Air Force.

Chief of the Air Staff's Warrant Officer

The Chief of the Air Staff's Warrant Officer (CASWO) is the senior warrant officer (WO), and therefore the most senior non-commissioned position in the Royal Air Force (RAF). The person holding this military appointment advises the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS) on matters concerning airmen and airwomen of the RAF. The post was created in 1996.

Chief warrant officer

Chief warrant officer is a military rank used by the United States Armed Forces, the Canadian Armed Forces, the Pakistan Air Force, the Israel Defense Forces, the South African National Defence Force, the Lebanese Armed Forces and, since 2012, the Singapore Armed Forces. In the United States Armed Forces, chief warrant officers are commissioned officers, not non-commissioned officers (NCOs) like in other NATO forces.

Coat of arms of Australia

The coat of arms of Australia, officially called the Commonwealth Coat of Arms, is the formal symbol of the Commonwealth of Australia. A shield, depicting symbols of Australia's six states, is held up by the native Australian animals the kangaroo and the emu. The seven-pointed Commonwealth Star surmounting the crest also represents the states and territories, while floral emblems appear below the shield.

The first arms were authorised by King Edward VII on 7 May 1908, and the current version by King George V on 19 September 1912, although the 1908 version continued to be used in some contexts, notably appearing on the reverse of the sixpenny coin.

Comparative air force enlisted ranks of Oceania

Rank comparison chart of air forces of Oceanian states.

Comparative air force enlisted ranks of the Commonwealth

Rank comparison chart of air forces of Commonwealth of Nations states.

Pinetree Line

The Pinetree Line was a series of radar stations located across the northern United States and southern Canada at about the 50th parallel north, along with a number of other stations located on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. Run by North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) (after its creation), over half were manned by United States Air Force personnel with the balance operated by the Royal Canadian Air Force. The line was the first coordinated system for early detection of a Soviet bomber attack on North America, but before the early 1950s radar technology quickly became outdated and the line was in full operation only for a short time.

Ranks of the Royal Australian Air Force

The rank structure of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has been inherited from the Royal Air Force (RAF). The RAF based its officer ranks on the Royal Navy, and its airmen ranks on the British Army.

Unlike the RAF, RAAF rank abbreviations are always written in uppercase without spaces (e.g. Pilot Officer is written as PLTOFF, not Plt Off). Also, the RAAF does not have the ranks of Senior Aircraftman, Junior Technician, Chief Technician or Master Aircrew.

The rank insignia is very similar to that of the RAF, with the exception of Leading Aircraftman (LAC)/Leading Aircraftwoman (LACW) which is one chevron (two bladed propeller in RAF). Both officers and airmen wear rank insignia on the chest when wearing General Purpose Uniform or Disruptive Pattern Combat Uniform. Rank insignia is worn on the shoulder in all other orders of dress with the exception of the Service Dress tunic (where it is worn on the lower sleeve for officers and Warrant Officers and the upper sleeve for airmen) and the working uniform of Physical Training Instructors where it is worn on the sleeve. The word 'Australia' appears immediately below all rank insignia worn on the shoulder or chest.

The most senior active rank of the RAAF, Air Marshal – a three-star rank, is held by the Chief of Air Force. On the occasions that the Chief of the Defence Force is an office of the RAAF, the rank of Air Chief Marshal in awarded to the officer. The rank of Marshal of the Royal Australian Air Force has never been held as an active rank and it is currently held as an honorary rank by HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

Regimental Sergeant Major of the Army (Australia)

Regimental Sergeant Major of the Army (RSM-A) is the most senior Warrant Officer in the Australian Army. It is a singular appointment – it is only held by one person at any time. RSM-A holds the unique rank of Warrant Officer (WO) which is senior to Warrant Officer Class One. The special insignia for the RSM-A is the Australian coat of arms with a wreath around it. The eleventh and current Regimental Sergeant Major of the Army is Grant MacFarlane.Based on the United States Army practice of appointing a Sergeant Major of the Army, the RSM-A is responsible to the Chief of Army (CA).

The appointment is the equivalent of the Warrant Officer of the Navy (WO-N) in the Royal Australian Navy, and the Warrant Officer of the Air Force (WOFF-AF) in the Royal Australian Air Force.

The post was created by the then Chief of Army, Lieutenant General Sir Phillip Bennett.

Robert Swanwick

Warrant Officer Robert Swanwick is a Royal Australian Air Force non-commissioned officer, currently serving as Warrant Officer of the Air Force.

Royal Australian Air Force

The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), formed in March 1921, is the aerial warfare branch of the Australian Defence Force (ADF). It operates the majority of the ADF's fixed wing aircraft, although both the Australian Army and Royal Australian Navy also operate aircraft in various roles. It directly continues the traditions of the Australian Flying Corps (AFC), formed on 22 October 1912. The RAAF provides support across a spectrum of operations such as air superiority, precision strikes, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, air mobility, space surveillance, and humanitarian support.

The RAAF took part in many of the 20th century's major conflicts. During the early years of the Second World War a number of RAAF bomber, fighter, reconnaissance and other squadrons served in Britain, and with the Desert Air Force located in North Africa and the Mediterranean. From 1942, a large number of RAAF units were formed in Australia, and fought in South West Pacific Area. Thousands of Australians also served with other Commonwealth air forces in Europe, including during the bomber offensive against Germany. By the time the war ended, a total of 216,900 men and women served in the RAAF, of whom 10,562 were killed in action.Later the RAAF served in the Berlin Airlift, Korean War, Malayan Emergency, Indonesia–Malaysia Confrontation and Vietnam War. More recently, the RAAF has participated in operations in East Timor, the Iraq War, the War in Afghanistan, and the military intervention against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

The RAAF has 259 aircraft, of which 110 are combat aircraft.

Royal Australian Navy

The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) is the naval branch of the Australian Defence Force. Following the Federation of Australia in 1901, the ships and resources of the separate colonial navies were integrated into a national force, called the Commonwealth Naval Forces. Originally intended for local defence, the navy was granted the title of 'Royal Australian Navy' in 1911, and became increasingly responsible for defence of the region.

Britain's Royal Navy’s Australian Squadron was assigned to the Australia Station and provided support to the RAN. The Australian and New Zealand governments helped to fund the Australian Squadron until 1913, while the Admiralty committed itself to keeping the Squadron at a constant strength. The Australian Squadron ceased on 4 October 1913, when RAN ships entered Sydney Harbour for the first time.The Royal Navy continued to provide blue-water defence capability in the Pacific up to the early years of the Second World War. Then, rapid wartime expansion saw the acquisition of large surface vessels and the building of many smaller warships. In the decade following the war, the RAN acquired a small number of aircraft carriers, the last of which was decommissioned in 1982.

Today, the RAN consists of 48 commissioned vessels, 3 non-commissioned vessels and over 16,000 personnel. The navy is one of the largest and most sophisticated naval forces in the South Pacific region, with a significant presence in the Indian Ocean and worldwide operations in support of military campaigns and peacekeeping missions. The current Chief of Navy is Vice Admiral Michael Noonan.

Senior enlisted advisor

A Senior Enlisted Adviser (SEA) in the United States Armed Forces is the most senior enlisted service member in a unit, and acts as an advisor to the commanding officer. Formally, E-9 billets for the senior enlisted advisor are established at Service unit (e.g., battalion, wing, or higher), command, major command, force, or fleet levels to the SEAs/CSELs of DoD Agencies and the Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. SEAs are also known as Command Senior Enlisted Leaders (CSEL). Always a non-commissioned officer, the SEA is the main link between the commanding officer and the enlisted service members under his or her charge.

Sergeant major

Sergeant major is a senior non-commissioned rank or appointment in many militaries around the world. In Commonwealth countries, the various degrees of sergeant major are appointments held by warrant officers. In the United States, there are also various grades of sergeant major (command sergeant major, Sergeant Major of the Army, Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps), but they are all of the same pay grade of E-9. However, the Sergeant Major of the Army and the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, as their respective service's Senior Enlisted Advisor, receive a special rate of basic pay that is higher than all other sergeants major.

Structure of the Royal Australian Air Force

The Royal Australian Air Force is organised into a number of operational, support and training formations located at bases across Australia.

Circa 1998, composite wings in the 95-97 series range were reported to be formed if necessary for operations overseas. In the event, No. 97 Wing RAAF was established on 24 October 1997 to command the RAAF elements deployed for drought relief purposes to Papua New Guinea during Operation Ples Drai. It was led by Wing Commander Chris Richards, who was also the commander of the Air Component of Joint Task Force 105 which had been established for this operation.

Warrant Officer of the Navy

Warrant Officer of the Navy (WO-N) is the most senior warrant officer in the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). It is a singular appointment, being only held by one person at any time. The special insignia for the WO-N is the Australian coat of arms with a wreath around it. The current Warrant Officer of the Navy is Gary Wight.

The appointment is the equivalent of the Regimental Sergeant Major of the Army (RSM-A) in the Australian Army, and Warrant Officer of the Air Force (WOFF-AF) in the Royal Australian Air Force.

Warrant officer

A warrant officer (WO) is an officer in a military organisation who is designated an officer by a warrant, as distinguished from a commissioned officer who is designated an officer by a commission, and a non-commissioned officer who is designated an officer, often by virtue of seniority.

The rank was first used in the 13th century in the Royal Navy and is today used in most services in many countries, including the Commonwealth nations and the United States.

Outside the United States, warrant officers are included in the "other ranks" (OR) category, equivalent to the US "E" (enlisted) category and rank between non-commissioned officers and commissioned officers. In the commonwealth warrant officers rank between chief petty officer and sub-lieutenant in the navy, between staff sergeant and second lieutenant in the army and between flight sergeant and pilot officer in the air force.

Warrant officers in the United States are classified as officers and are in the "W" category (NATO "WO"); they are technical leaders and specialists. Chief warrant officers are commissioned by the President of the United States and take the same oath as regular commissioned officers. They may be technical experts with a long service as enlisted personnel, or direct entrants such as U.S. Army helicopter pilots.

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