In the above photograph, Simone Campbell is shown, on ANZAC Day, 2015, wearing the Australian Defence Medal, and no campaign medals. She is missing the Defence Long Service Medal, which she was awarded, on 01 May 2010.
Campbell, after RAAF recruit training, went on to train as a clerk administrative. However, after a short time, she transferred to the steward mustering. Following a few years as a steward, she was accepted for crew attendant (flight steward) training. Campbell was then posted to Number 34 Squadron (34SQN), March 1999, as a crew attendant, on DA900 Falcon, VIP aircraft, ferrying members of the Federal Parliament, on their business activities. Subsequent to Campbell’s 34SQN posting, she was posted to 33SQN, as a crew attendant, on Boeing 707 aircraft.
Following several more postings, to ‘ground jobs’, Campbell resigned from the RAAF, on 04 August, 2008 and transferred to the RAAF Active Reserve, where she continues to serve, with the rank of sergeant.
On 11 January, 2016, an article appeared in the newspaper, the ‘Illawarra Mercury’, about Campbell’s exploits. In the article, she made some very unusual and interesting claims, about her RAAF service.
Excerpt from 'Illawarra Mercury':
‘Sergeant Simone Campbell was with the Royal Australian Air Force for 17 years and flew on missions in and out of Afghanistan, Iraq and East Timor. And was a member of support teams following the Bali bombings and tsunamis. She has personally endured many challenges. Now the work she does with youth and some of the six million Australians who suffer Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is helping many.’
Further in the article, Simone claims:
‘In September 1999 her aircraft was loaded with Special Forces bound for East Timor. It landed at night between two mountains and with no runway lights. She could see shots being fired. She did that for the next six months and learned to live with fear.
That was followed by support missions after the Bali bombings and tsunamis before being sent to the War on Terror. When she finally returned she found it hard to re-adjust. “I had to find ways to control the memories. I do have night terrors. Living with the horrors of what you have seen…is quite traumatic.”
Analysis of Claims:
Campbell claims that, in September 1999, her aircraft was loaded with Special Forces troops, bound for East Timor;
In fact, in August 1999, Campbell was on conversion course, at 34SQN, Canberra. The DA 900 Falcon aircraft, which she was training for, was not involved in any East Timor tasks. Actually, the Boeing 707 aircraft, of 33SQN, her much later posting, were engaged in ferrying SF troops from Townsville to Darwin only, where the B707 tasks terminated. Those tasks were then taken over, by 36SQN and 37SQN, C130 Hercules aircraft. Further, on 19 October 1999, Campbell had just completed the four week, RAAF Combat Survival course. Something does not add up, with her timing.
Campbell’s claims, of seeing ‘tracer bullets’, and landing between two hills, are pure fantasy, as she was never there.
We hold evidence, from an earlier and unrelated investigation, where a former senior Australian Army member, who was deployed in East Timor between 16 September, 1999 and 21 April, 2000, who has stated:
“I was there from 16 September 1999 to 21 April 2000. If there was any small arms fire (separate to the shot fired at a runaway prisoner), I must have slept through it."
"Timor kicked off on 16 September 1999 and Dili (and the surrounding areas) were secure by 23 September 1999. I can tell you that the entire area, including the airport, was secure.”
Campbell’s other claims of being in Iraq and Afghanistan, are a total fabrication. There is no evidence that she was ever posted to the Middle East Area of Operations (MEAO).
The ‘Defence Act 1903, Part 80A’ states:
‘Falsely representing to be returned soldier, sailor or airman
(1) A person commits an offence if:
(a) the person represents himself or herself to be a returned soldier, sailor or airman; and
(b) the representation is false.
Penalty: 30 penalty units or imprisonment for 6 months, or both.’
The first Bali bombing occurred on 12 October, 2002. One month prior, to the bombing, 10 September, 2002, Campbell was posted to 285SQN, a training squadron at RAAF Base Richmond.
The second Bali bombing, occurred on 1 October 2005 and, at that time, Campbell was posted to Headquarters, Air Command, at Glenbrook, NSW, to be the valet, to the Air Commander Australia. That posting was effective on 10 January, 2005, well before the second Bali bombing. Which Bali bombing are you referring to, Sgt Campbell, as neither fit your timeline?
Another of Campbell’s claims, is her involvement in the ‘Boxing Day Tsunami’, which occurred on 26 December, 2004. On 10 January, 2005, Campbell went on the ‘ground’ posting, mentioned above. At that stage, the 33SQN Boeing 707 aircraft were not yet involved in ‘Operation Sumatra Assist’, subsequent to the tsunami and, when they were involved, such a large aircraft would have been restricted to major, undamaged airfields, nowhere near the devastation.
Campbell’s claims are categorised as valour theft, by ‘gilding the lily’. However, to make such claims is distorting the truth, and manipulating the facts, to suit her personal agenda.
Campbell was asked to provide evidence of her involvement, in what she claims, by sending scans of her ‘Aircrew Flying Log Book’, which would have solved the matter, outright. Unfortunately, she refused to do so. Aircrew log books have no security classification, whatsoever.
The full article, in the ‘Illawarra Mercury’, is at:
Members of the Australian Defence Force, police, fire and ambulance services, put their lives on the line, every day. Do they boast about it? No way – they just get on with the job. The point is that they have plenty to boast about, but choose not to. ANZMI have found, with vast experience, that those who have done the least boast the most.
There must be something in the Wollongong water, as another fitness instructor, Lee Thomas Carr, also appears on ANZMI, for telling tall stories about his ‘nothing’.
Maybe Carr and Campbell should get together and swap war stories.
Simone Elaine Campbell: There is no doubt that you have served your country well, during your RAAF service, and have contributed to your community, with your involvement in assisting people with emotional problems.
Unfortunately, you have made false claims about active service, in East Timor and the MEAO, to enhance your standing in the community, and to influence people to attend your training classes, by inventing non-existent 'heroics'. Because of that deception, you will remain, in these pages, for a very long time.