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October 27, 2011
Air Force Improvement
AIR Force Improvement (AFI) is hap-
pening at all levels -- from squad-
rons to the Air Force Reform Board
(AFRB), which is chaired by DCAF
AVM Neil Hart.
"The AFRB has been set up to
provide assurance to CAF that our
improvements are benefiting Air
Force and not impacting adversely
on capability, safety or airworthi-
ness," AVM Hart said.
"I am confident that people
across Air Force are embracing
innovation to implement improve-
"The AFRB is working with our
partners in the Defence Materiel
Organisation, Defence Support
Group, Chief Information Officer
Group and industry to find more
effective and efficient ways of deliv-
ering and sustaining capability," he
The AFRB is responsible for
ensuring reforms under AFI are
consistent with Air Force's strategic
At the September AFRB meeting
in Canberra, the board completed
a detailed review of the Air Mobility
Improvement Program, and mem-
bers discussed the challenge of
bringing innovation to a post-Lean
organisation with representatives
from StandardAero, an industry
"Air Force and our industry part-
ners are already embracing Lean,
and while we have more work to do
in this area, we are looking at how
to introduce further improvements
in our workplaces. StandardAero
have similar aspirations and offered
us the benefit of their thinking,"
AVM Hart said.
FLTLT Skye Smith
UNDER the Strategic Reform Pro-
gram, 78WG, along with the Defence
Materiel Organisation (DMO) and
BAE, has achieved a 10 per cent con-
tract savings with a new two-year con-
tract for support to Air Combat Group's
Hawk lead-in fighters.
The new contract extension is
valued around $150 million and will
result in greater efficiencies in Hawk
Temporary OC 78WG WGCDR
Nick Osborne said that the critical
requirement under the Air Combat
Reform Program (ACRP) was that
capability outcomes were not compro-
mised in achieving cost savings.
"This requires a close working rela-
tionship between BAE as the contrac-
tor, DMO as the supplier and 78WG as
the end-user," he said.
"We have been working together
to deliver efficiencies for the Hawk
community for a number of years, but
the savings have been realised with the
The ACRP was established under
Commander Air Combat Group
AIRCDRE Mel Hupfeld and includes
representatives from the Air Combat
Air Combat Group has partnered
with DMO's Director General Air
Combat Systems and the Systems
Program Offices within the domain.
AIRCDRE Hupfeld said open
lines of communication and commit-
ment from across all levels of the Air
Combat Domain had led to a number
of successes under the ACRP, includ-
ing the Hawk sustainment contract.
"These cost savings have led
to greater efficiencies and a hap-
pier, more productive workforce,"
AIRCDRE Hupfeld said.
The Hawk sustainment contract
contains measures to define savings
outcomes and capability requirements,
but the key enabler in achieving that
is the model of the Hawk Integrated
Logistics Operations Centre (HILOC).
HILOC is responsible for imple-
menting the goals of a partnering
charter signed by BAE, DMO and Air
WGCDR Osborne said there had
been a surprising cultural shift as
branches worked together to achieve
the best outcome.
"There is a renewed discipline
within 78WG, 76 and 79SQNs, with a
focus on reducing waste and reinvest-
ing savings into capability."
The transparency between BAE,
DMO and the Air Force is also a
key factor in Hawk sustainment and
"Every week the HILOC reviews
aircraft availability, serviceabil-
ity rates, supply support and fatigue,"
WGCDR Osborne said.
"Once a month the leaders of the
HILOC working groups meet to dis-
cuss major elements for performance
The integrated logistics concept has
achieved great success since its incep-
tion and will now be adopted for the
Classic Hornet sustainment, between
81WG, DMO and BAE.
"Under the ACRP we have seen
major savings, while maintaining
capability and then reinvesting savings
back into the workplace," WGCDR
"The program's effectiveness
allows for greater efficiencies and cost
WGCDR Osborne acknowledged
cultural change needs to be driven by
the leadership team for the first year
until the workforce accepts it as "just
the way we do business".
The Air Force's 33 Hawks are
operated at 76SQN at RAAF Base
Williamtown and 79SQN at RAAF
in new Hawk
Photo: LS Phillip Cullinan
MAKING A DIFFERENCE: Air Force Reform Board members discuss
improvement and innovation with Jim Miller, from StandardAero, at
the September board meeting in Canberra.
Photo: LAC Bill Solomou
Ideas for improvement
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