‘My squadron has the capability to set up a base either nationally or internationally at a moment’s notice to help with a national emergency or support humanitarian disaster relief.’ Lee de Winton
As the Commanding Officer of Number 381 Expeditionary Combat Support Squadron, Wing Commander Lee de Winton is responsible for the management of the support capabilities at RAAF Williamtown, the Australian Defence Force’s busiest airfield. Williamtown accommodates jet fighters, surveillance, training aircraft and is home to 300 multi-purpose vehicles and other defence equipment. Lee also provides support services at remote or semi-developed airstrips for national and international emergencies or humanitarian disaster relief tasks. Her career highlights include a deployment to Iraq in 2003 and more recently, leading a joint exercise between the Australian and United States air forces which tested the interoperability of the command, communications, logistics, security and health of the engineering services of both air forces for the first time. In only 36 hours, a piece of bushland – called the ‘Impossible Airfield’ – was transformed into an airbase. In 2008, she began a women’s development and leadership forums group which have now been formalised across most of the Air Force.