Informal portrait of Flight Lieutenant (FltLt) Gary Wilson, Australian Services Contingent (ASC), ...

Accession Number P04549.001
Collection type Photograph
Object type Colour - Print
Maker Unknown
Place made Somalia
Date made October 1993 - April 1994
Conflict Period 1990-1999
Somalia, 1992-1995

Item copyright: Copyright unknown - orphaned work


Informal portrait of Flight Lieutenant (FltLt) Gary Wilson, Australian Services Contingent (ASC), UNOSOM II (United Nations Operation in Somalia), standing in front of a United States Army Bell 209 Huey Cobra, a close support and attack helicopter. He enlisted in the Australian Regular Army on 21 March 1973. Until 1983 FltLt Wilson served as an Aircraft Airframe Fitter in RAEME (Royal Australian Corps of Electrical and Mechanical Engineers). He then transferred to Army Aviation Corps and was promoted to the rank of Sergeant. FltLt Wilson completed training with the RAAF School of ATC (Aircraft Traffic Control) at East Sale, Victoria, where he qualified as an Army Air Traffic Controller. He was posted to RAAF Edinburgh for 12 months and then posted to the Army Aviation Centre, Oakey. In 1988, he transferred to RAAF as an ATC where he completed officer training and was commissioned to the rank of Pilot Officer. Following officer training, he was posted to RAAF Amberley until March 1992 and then posted to RAAF Townsville. Wilson had two detachments to RMAF Butterworth with RAAF 6 SQN F111 as an ATC liaison officer in 1990 and 1991. In late 1992, he was promoted to the rank of Flight Lieutenant. Wilson served on the Australian Services Contingent (ASC) under UNOSOM II in Somalia, from 7 October 1993 to the end of April 1994. The ASC was part of the Unified Task Force (UNITAF) which was formed by the United Nations (UN) in order to establish a safe environment for the delivery of humanitarian assistance in Somalia. As part of ASC, Wilson says that he ‘was employed as one of three team leaders involved with training and supervision of a RAAF ATC team and later Somali ATCs. We had a team of ten Australian RAAF ATCs who provided Air Traffic Control and support services at Mogadishu International Airport, in support of the UN mission and US military protection force. Twenty-seven different countries were involved in the UNOSOM mission, with up to 600 civil and military aircraft movements recorded daily. ATC services only operated between 0600-1800 daily, as the airfield was closed during the hours of darkness.’