Home' Air Force News : September 30th 2010 Contents 11
September 30, 2010
Flight deck crews for each BBJ
were kept together for five to seven
days, before being exchanged with a
replacement crew when opportunities
BBJ flight commander SQNLDR
Christian Martin said the arrange-
ment simplified manning of tasks, and
allowed some work-life balance.
"Our workload definitely increased
during the election, not from a fly-
ing hours point of view, but from the
amount of time spent at work and away
from home," SQNLDR Martin said.
"Our schedules were very dynamic,
and sometime unpredictable.
"VIPOPS staff did an excellent job
managing the frequent changes to task-
ing and last-minute notifications."
For the first time, a pair of 38SQN
King Airs were used alongside
34SQN's Challengers to support can-
All of these aircraft -- civilian and
military -- came under the responsibility
of the VIPOPS Cell.
VIPOPS became a constant hub of
activity for the campaign.
Working in the VIPOPS cell,
FLGOFF Jason Meyers described the
election as a 10-fold increase in their
"We went to 10-hour shifts to ensure
information wasn't lost in the hando-
vers and coordinating up to 12 aircraft
from different squadrons and charter
companies," FLGOFF Meyers said.
"It required a constant flow of infor-
mation to ensure everyone was up-to-date
in the ever-changing election campaign."
A subtle change from a campaign-
ing side could have meant a dramatic
impact on how 34SQN could meet the
task, making communication through
"We needed to relay all relevant
information to our support staff and
charter companies, no matter how small
the change was," FLGOFF Meyers said.
Managing that flow of information
carried across VIPOPS staff as well as
crew attendant and pilot tasking, VIP
terminal and Qantas Defence Services
There was also the unit's security
element, supplemented by a detachment
of 2AFDS personnel, to ensure safety
of passengers and aircraft.
Above all of this were the unit exec-
utives, administration and logistics staff
who ensured 34SQN and VIPOPS con-
tinued to run smoothly.
Aside from one technical fault with
a BBJ which meant Ms Gillard travelled
with a chartered aircraft instead, 34SQN
and VIPOPS were able to deliver cus-
tomers to their destinations on time.
Candidates appreciated the efforts
made by Air Force personnel.
WGCDR Crouch said: "They're
always very appreciative of the support
we provide, our continuing attention to
detail and the manner in which our team
always maintains such a good sense of
"Our team considers it a privilege to
provide a service to the most important
officials in the country."
for involvement in
a major exercise,
but not sure exactly
when it'll kick off, or
exactly how much
will be expected.
-- WGCDR Warren Crouch
GETTING READY TO GO: Above, pilot
FLTLT Aaron Barker and Troy Hatchman,
from Qantas Defence Services, inspect the
nosewheel of a Challenger jet.
Left, In front of a 34SQN Challenger jet, from
left, pilot FLTLT Simon Webb, Deputy Security
Officer SGT Phillip Kirke and crew attendant
CPL Natalie Oakes. Photos: LAC Aaron Curran
BUSY, BUSY: From July 17 to
August 21, the VIPOPS cell at
34SQN coordinated 277 tasks,
which flew 800 hours, and
coordinated 10 aircraft on average
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