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AIR FORCE November 26, 2009
By FLTLT Eamon Hamilton
THE FIRST C-17A Weapons
System Trainer (WST) outside of
the United States has gone online
at RAAF Base Amberley.
The WST, which includes
a cockpit simulator for the C-
17A, was accepted by 36SQN on
It will provide conversion and
currency training for C-17A crews
from next year.
Local politicians joined repre-
sentatives from Air Force, Defence
Support Group, Defence Materiel
Organisation (DMO), Boeing and
the United States Air Force (USAF)
at Amberley for the commissioning.
Director General Airlift and
Training Systems AIRCDRE Steven
Drury acknowledged the team effort
of the USAF, Boeing and its sub-
contractors, Air Lift Group, Defence
Support Group (DSG) and DMO,
in achieving delivery of the WST
and other training aids and serv-
ices which form part of the RAAF
C-17A Aircrew Training System.
"Delivery of the C-17 WST
ahead of schedule and under budget
continues the magnificent success
of the overall C-17 Heavy Air Lift
Project," AIRCDRE Drury said.
The full range of C-17A cock-
pit training can be performed in
the WST -- from basic conversion
through to Night-Vision Goggle fly-
ing and air-to-air refuelling.
Classed as a Level-5 simulator,
the WST approximates the cockpit
of a real C-17A, and has a stand-
alone Loadmaster Station integrated
as part of the simulator.
A pair of 36SQN C-17As
brought home the WST compo-
nents from Tinker Air Force Base
in Oklahoma earlier this year. Over
the past few months, a team from
Boeing and the USAF assembled
and tested the simulator to ensure its
compliance with the same specifica-
tions as other USAF C-17A training
Until now, RAAF C-17A pilots
travelled to the US to undertake basic
C-17A training and some currency
tests. With the simulator in place at
Amberley, flying hours in the real C-
17As can now be opened up for more
The time and expense saved in
training locally will reap dividends,
according to Commander Air Lift
Group AIRCDRE John Oddie.
"By bringing this training
to Amberley, we save two days
in travel for each crew member,"
AIRCDRE Oddie said.
"This benefit to crew availa-
bility provides a real opportunity
for increased operational service
and also improves our capacity to
retain high-end skills, such as air
The new C-17 training facility at
Amberley is based on similar facili-
ties used by the USAF, and featured
extensive consultation between the
Heavy Air Lift Project Team, DSG,
the facility contractor John Holland
Group, the WST contractor Boeing,
and the USAF.
The WST will have a database of
USAF's existing airfields, as well as
Amberley, Townsville and low-level
training routes including Nackeroo
in the Northern Territory.
NUMBER 37 Squadron's 12
C-130J aircraft have started their
through-life support program at RAAF
Base Richmond under a new $292 mil-
Minister for Defence Personnel,
Materiel and Science Greg Combet
announced the program on November
17. Australian Aerospace and sub-con-
tractor Lockheed Martin won the five-
Under the contract, the Hercules will
be inducted to the Australian Aerospace
facility at Richmond for their routine
deeper level maintenance servicing.
"The Defence Materiel Organisation,
Air Force, Australian Aerospace and
Lockheed Martin will work closely in
order to provide ongoing support to the
C-130J aircraft fleet, thereby increasing
their availability to the Air Force," Mr
"Further annual contract extensions
will be linked to contractor performance
and cost reduction."
Australian Aerospace and Lockheed
Martin will deliver services that include
aircraft maintenance, engineering and
supply chain management.
C-130J engine support will continue
to be provided by the firm StandardAero
under an existing contract arrangement.
37SQN operates 12 of the J-model
Hercules. Three are currently deployed
to the Middle East Area of Operations.
WST of our own
SEAT AT THE TABLE: SGT David Sheen from 36SQN
demonstrates his role at the Loadmaster Station, part of the C-17
Aircrew Training System.
Photos: ACW Kylie Gibson
ALL CLEAR AHEAD:
Above, Jason Green
and Jason Buttigieg,
of Thales, perform the
daily maintenance on
civilian and military
guests at the
ceremony for the
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