Home' Air Force News : October 27th 2011 Contents 7
October 27, 2011
As we take a moment to remember the fallen,
the Returned & Services League of Australia (Queensland Branch)
would like to thank all Australian Defence Force personnel for the
Donate at www.rslqld.org
Call 1300 112 114
LS Paul Berry
KEEPING two operational AP-3C
Orions airborne at a near-perfect
launch rate is no mean feat.
Just ask the 'spider' mainte-
nance team at Al Minhad Air Base,
which works 24 hours a day, seven
days a week to keep the aircraft on
The Orion detachment reached
20,000 hours of operational flight
time on August 15, but the work
that goes into keeping them air-
borne is equally impressive.
Shift boss FSGT Nick Hanna
said his team took a lot of pride
in the fact they were doing opera-
"The experience and knowledge
of the guys is fantastic," FSGT
"They just relish the opportu-
nities and challenges to fault-find
problems, because over here we've
got no choice but to nut it out our-
selves and the guys pick up a lot of
knowledge from that."
Most of the maintenance team
are veterans on their second,
third or fourth deployments to the
They regularly work through
temperatures exceeding 45 degrees
Celsius and in withering United
Arab Emirates humidity.
Aircraft technician CPL
Lincoln Rawlings said it was the
operational job they trained to do.
"We've had a couple of high
tempo days when we had three
major scheduled services come up
on a single day, so that was pretty
big," CPL Rawlings said.
"It takes quite a few hours to
get one done, but we got all three
done in one day. It's just amazing
to watch guys go 'right let's get it
done and let's have this thing fly-
Senior engineering officer
FLTLT Matthew Durbin said the
team work hard and have accom-
plished something special.
"When you add it up, those
20,000 hours of flying over the
last eight years add up to roughly
half a million maintenance hours,"
FLTLT Durbin said.
FSGT Hanna said the 20,000
hour milestone was a real feather
in their cap.
"I'm sure if you ask any of the
maintainers they will just blow it
off and say 'well that's just what
we do,' but you can see it in their
eyes they're proud that they have
achieved that milestone," he said.
PART OF A 24-HOUR-A-DAY JOB: An AP-3C returns to Al Minhad Air Base
from another mission over Afghanistan; left, aircraft technicians FSGT Nick
Hanna (left), SGT Nigel Gilbert (centre), and CPL Tim Brown return from
marshalling the aircraft.
Photos: LS Paul Berry
CAN DO ATTITUDE: CPL Lincoln Rawlings ... "It's just amazing to watch guys
go 'right let's get it done and let's have this thing flying tomorrow'."
TEAM EFFORT: Right,
aircraft technicians CPL Jesse
Rosengren, SGT Brock Smith and
LAC Aidan Seeley conduct fault-
finding on an AP-3C's systems
during the night shift.
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