Mr. Laurence Edward 'Laurie' Bode
We lost one of our EW warriors this week; peacefully after a hard fought battle with cancer in recent months.
Laurie joined the AOC in 1978 with membership number 78-20417 and was heavily involved in the creation and sustainment of the first AOC Chapter in Australia. Since its very early days, Laurie has held most official Office Bearer positions of the Australian ’Kangaroo’ AOC Chapter including President, Secretary and, first Treasurer and Membership Secretary. He was instrumental in establishing an initial Sydney Chapter and then sustaining the AOC Canberra Chapter before steering those distributed organisation(s) into a single national Chapter, as it is now. During the last 2 decades, Laurie also was the early force in organising the very successful Australian biennial EW conferences and continued to support that premier Australian EW event as a keynote / guest speaker, a senior spokesperson for RAAF EW and, until recent weeks, was still a senior member of the (then) Director General for EW in the Australian Department of Defence. Laurie also was a regular attendee at AOC International Conferences in the 1980s and 1990s in Washington, Atlanta and Dayton.
Spanning 5 decades and accumulating almost 45 years of RAAF & Defence service, Laurie Bode personified all that the AOC values as the attributes of collegiate membership, advocacy and EW professionalism. These were combined with his personal character including technical competence, engineering and personal integrity, of mentor and tutor, technical and operational visionary, and long serving EW practitioner. All the while, Laurie has been a highly respected and highly capable member of the Electronic Warfare community as well as committed volunteer, advocate, warrior and Chapter office bearer of what is now the International AOC.
Laurie joined the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) in 1972 and in 1979 set a team up with two other ex-RAAF engineering cadets to prepare and deliver the first RAAF Engineer Electronic Warfare Course which, then, was a post-graduate levelled 10 day classroom training program. Designed to help prepare the current generation of Air Force engineering managers and the next 3 generations to date, the course was completed with all students urged to apply for membership to the AOC. That RAAF Engineer EW course still exists after 37 years and is sponsored through the RAAF Joint Electronic Warfare Operational Support Unit (JEWOSU) in Adelaide.
Laurie was involved in EW in some way throughout his military and civilian career spanning over 40 years. He’d been a prime EW advocate and subject matter expert in Australia and also internationally recognised, particularly in the USA and UK, for his knowledge and experience with heavy radar, RF and infra-red countermeasures, and the development and integration of new passive sub-microwave EW capabilities.
Laurie managed several ground-breaking EW projects in Australia in these areas. He was a strong advocate of EW sovereignty for Australia and supported the need for an indigenous EW sustainment capability in industry, and particularly embracing the development of small to medium enterprises. For his commitment, pioneering leadership and untiring support of the Australian Chapter and for his contributions to the AOC and EW community spanning more than four decades; we all owe Laurie a debt of gratitude and our appreciation for the success of our own EW organisation, and for its professionalism and survivability over the same period.
With his beloved wife, Sue, passing away under similar circumstances in recent years, our thoughts are now with Laurie’s immediate family, his two adult children; Adam and Amanda and his new first grandchild; Archie who was a real source of pleasure to Laurie in this last 6 months.
A real loss in our EW community and a time to remember one of our early EW stalwarts - Vale (14 July 2016).
From the AOC.