Nick O’Connor

GROWING up in an ethnic minority family in Afghanistan, Aircraftman Mujtaba (Mitch) Hakimi lived in constant fear of violence at the hands of the Taliban.

​At the age of eight, Aircraftman Hakimi’s family fled the instability of war-torn Afghanistan, immigrating to Australia in 2009 with the promise of a better life.

​”Prior to immigrating, my parents had known nothing but conflict their entire lives,” Aircraftman Hakimi said.

​”In the hope for us to have a better childhood, an education and a chance at a future, my parents decided to leave.

​”Arriving with no knowledge of English, by the age of 12, I had mastered the language well enough to be enrolled into a primary school to attend my first ever classroom lessons.”

​Aircraftman Hakimi’s family settled in Adelaide, were he quickly adapted to life as an Aussie.

​He said he appreciated the opportunity to obtain a quality education at Adelaide’s Thomas More College. It was during his senior schooling that an interest in aviation was sparked.

​”I grew up and did my schooling in Adelaide. After gaining my commercial pilot license, I was looking for an aviation role in Defence,” he said.

​Aircraftman Hakimi joined the Air Force in July 2022.

​As a new recruit, he spent his first six months working in the 30 Squadron Base Command Post at RAAF Base East Sale.

​In April last year, he enhanced his aviation knowledge when he took part in, and subsequently successfully completed, Phase 1 of the Airborne Electronics Analyst (AEA) Initial Course, as part of his initial employment training.

​It was the first AEA Initial Course to be run at the Air Mission Training School (AMTS), RAAF Base East Sale, having recently transferred from 292 Squadron at RAAF Base Edinburgh in South Australia.

​”The course began with intensive theory at the start but I really enjoyed the sim (simulator) phase where I had to put all the theory learned into practice,” he said.

​”This tested my situational awareness, analyst ability and prioritisation skills constantly. I really enjoyed the challenges of making progress with each sim event to learn skills and abilities to be an excellent aviator.”

​Aircraftman Hakimi said he was looking forward to the next phase of AEA training, which involves completing a conversion onto an operational platform.

​”The expected finish date for the second phase of the AEA course is July this year,” he said.

​”My goal is to continue my high level of performance and be awarded the coveted AEA brevet.”

Afghanistan immigrant Aircraftman Mujtaba (Mitch) Hakimi’s aviation knowledge was recently enhanced with his successful completion of the first Airborne Electronics Analyst (AEA) Initial Course to be run at the Air Mission Training School (AMTS) at RAAF Base East Sale. Photo: Contributed