The Spitfire Association announces the 2022 Spitfire Memorial Defence Fellowship recipient, Professor Frank Marino, Charles Sturt University.

This is Professor Marino's second Fellowship and continues the work he has done to assess the impact of hydration on performance. In this Fellowship, he will specifically focus on infantry soldiers and will examine the extent to which heat strain and hydration affects the postural stability and sway in military personnel, and what impact this has on their ability to aim with precision when engaging hostile forces.

Professor Frank Marino explained the importance of this research, "Climate change will inevitably require our defence personnel to engage in combat in significantly warmer environments and difficult terrain.

"Heat stress and strain is a serious problem in combat conditions and rising body temperatures and hydration status seriously affect cognitive/tactical decision making and performance. It is, therefore, important to understand what impact these factors have on combat performance."

Geoff Zuber, President, Spitfire Association said, "Congratulations to Professor Frank Marino for being awarded this year's Fellowship and for his work into hydration and its impact on military personnel."

"The Spitfire Memorial Defence Fellowship is the living memory of our founders and their passion for this country that they fought so hard to defend during World War II.

"A quick look through the awardees of this Fellowship shows the tri-service nature of our support of Defence," Mr Zuber said.

Recognising the need to be ever vigilant, the Spitfire Memorial Defence Fellowship was conceived by pilots of 457 Squadron Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), including the late AVM Lyndon Compton AO OBE RAAF, the late FLTLT Edward (Ted) Sly DFC, the late FLTLT Peter Watson DFC and the late Lifetime Vice President FLTLT Lysle Roberts. Their vision for the Fellowship was as an ongoing living memorial rather than a traditional granite and bronze monument.

The incumbent Chief of Defence holds the responsibility to be, or nominate from Service chiefs, the Spitfire Memorial Defence Fellowship Patron. This patronage is vital to ensure that the Spitfire Association remains connected to Defence as a whole, not just Air Force. The current Patron of the Fellowship is Chief of the Air Force, Air Marshal Mel Hupfeld, AO, DSC. Previous Patron, when Chief of the Defence Force was Air Chief Marshal (Ret'd) Mark Binskin, AC.

Each year, the Spitfire Memorial Defence Fellowship is presented at Government House by the Governor General of Australia. Fellowships have been awarded for study into hypersonics, unmanned aerial and surface systems, and cybersecurity.