Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Small World of DITC

Today's November 11. I generally don't set out to do anything in particular on this day, or Anzac day either, given that what I do most of the year involves a good degree of sharing military history. But I often end up doing something appropriate anyway as part of the normal run of things.

Today was a pretty special day. Volunteering at the RAAF Museum we had a tour with the DITC (Defence International Training Centre). The DITC's own definition of its role is "... to provide training and support that enhances Defence cooperation and cross cultural awareness between members of the Australian Defence Organisation and foreign militaries."

We get a remarkable range of officers from militaries literally all over the world (today from as close as Papua New Guinea, and as far as Holland, as well as Pakistan, China, India, Vietnam, and many more). We had army, navy, air force and one marines officer.

Experience was diverse. One officer had trained at the Empire Test Pilot's School, Boscombe Down, in the UK, one of the real elite pilot training schools, and had been mentored by one of the ETPS instructors who just happens to also be a pilot for The Shuttleworth Collection, thus someone I know, and today's 'small world' moment.

Pointing out the RAAF Museum's DHC Caribou on display, I was able to tell them that this actual aircraft, in its 45 years of service, had operated in several of their countries (from memory it had operated in Pakistan for the UN, Vietnam during the war there, and Papua New Guinea on many humane works).

If we can facilitate better understanding, experiences and co-operation between so many countries, as well as highlighting the cost of military history, then that is a good thing. There's a good chunk of 'lest we forget' here, but also works for building for a better future.