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Major Bernard Hayes

Major Bernard Hayes
When people think of soldiers going overseas to serve their country, they often picture fit young men and women in the prime of their lives.

That’s true. But there are also many others in their forties and fifties – and still firing on all cylinders. 

Meet Oakey’s 54-year-old Major Bernard Hayes. He’s been in the Army for around 35 years and still enjoys the challenge. 

In fact, he has just returned from a tour of duty in East Timor where he was the officer commanding the aviation element of the Australian-led International Stabilisation Force. 

Bernie said the Australian Black Hawk helicopters make a significant contribution through the provision of troop lift and 24-hour aero-medical evacuation capabilities. 

“One of the highlights of my deployment was my aviation group’s support for humanitarian activities including delivery of much-needed medical supplies to remote villages,” he said. 

“Also, we developed a close relationship with a local orphanage, inviting the children onto the base for games and a traditional Aussie barbeque.” 

At the invitation of the Government of Timor-Leste the multi-national contingent has been supporting the East Timorese security forces to maintain a stable and secure environment. 

Major Hayes now returns to his role as second-in-command of the Army Helicopter School at Oakey. 

With a family military history dating back to World War 1, he wouldn’t have it any other way. 

Major Hayes returns to Australia with a Timor-Leste Solidarity Medal, personally presented to him by East Timor President, Dr. Jose Ramos-Horta.

Last updated
17 January 2017
Army: Courage. Initiative. Respect. Teamwork.
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