Home' Air Force News : November 10th 2011 Contents 5
November 10, 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
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FLTLT David Cusworth
25SQN Main Expeditionary
Operational Maintenance Sec-
tion (MEOMS) supervisor SGT
Shannon Smith knows how to
instantly stop a 32,000lb object
travelling at 135 knots.
It's called the Aircraft Arrestor
In this case the 32,000lb
object was a 3SQN F/A-18 which
was part of the air power con-
tribution based at RAAF Base
Pearce for CHOGM.
MEOMS conducting a suc-
cessful AAS test on the aircraft
and then were on standby 24
hours a day in case they had to
apply their skills for real.
SGT Shannon Smith
explained the event as it unfolds.
"MEOMS personnel wait as
the tower takes control, raising the
AAS steel cable out of its channel
in the runway. The Hornet passes
over once then comes in to land,
catching the cable with its tail
hook," SGT Smith said.
Nylon belt pays out behind
the cable and hydraulic brakes on
the cable drum do the stopping,
then it's time for the MEOMS
team to spring into action.
"They'll take the cable," SGT
"Once it's been done, it will
be released and then we'll go out
there and rewind it.
"Once that's done we'll be
able to check and 3SQN can be
sure of the safety of the system."
Constant radio calls keep
the AAS team and the tower in
touch. When they're cleared,
the section goes on to the run-
efforts get a big tick
CHOGM also provided the Air
Force with the chance to integrate
emerging capabilities across a range
CO 10SQN WGCDR Mick Jansen
said the AP-3C was assigned to the
operation in support of ground secu-
"The crews performed the vitally
important role of providing specific
intelligence, surveillance and recon-
naissance tasks as well as liaison to
security response forces," he said.
"The P3s provided essential over-
watch surveillance and intelligence
data to the other task elements and
security agencies while the ADF per-
formed around-the-clock operations."
GPCAPT Iervasi said the F/A-18s
responded to assist with identification
of aircraft in temporary restricted air-
space for CHOGM.
Back at the Eastern Region
Operations Centre (EASTROC) at
RAAF Base Williamtown, 41WG
surveillance teams also provided air
control in support of ADF activities
Vital work-up training was con-
ducted across Australia leading up to
the deployment, acting as an essential
part of the security preparations and
enhancing operational skills sets.
The air task elements at Pearce
also conducted integrated training in
the days leading up to the CHOGM
WGCDR Jansen said mission
rehearsal exercises were held involv-
ing all of the assigned Air Force assets
assessing their individual maritime
and air defence capabilities.
About 1800 Defence members
deployed to Western Australia along
with a range of equipment to support
the security aspects of CHOGM.
The joint response team from the
ADF included HMAS Darwin which
patrolled off the coast, special and
regular Army forces, Army Black
Hawk helicopters and a Navy clear-
ance diving team.
A 3SQN F/A-18
moves along the
runway at RAAF
Photo: CPL Chris
SQNLDR Paul Lineham
WITH an average of 100 sorties a day,
RAAF Base Pearce could already have
claimed to be the busiest military airfield
in the country -- but things just became
busier during the last two weeks of
Aircraft types and quantities increased
because of security support for CHOGM.
Joining the resident Hawk and PC-9
jets on the Pearce flightline were F/A-
18As from 3SQN, a 2SQN Wedgetail
Airborne Early Warning and Control air-
craft, AP-3Cs from 10SQN and a 38SQN
King Air, on standby to support the
Western Australia Police if needed.
And it was not just an increase in air-
craft, but also additional personnel with
the flight and support crews, plus the
airfield defence guards from 1 Airfield
Defence Squadron -- passing through
for Exercise Western Rodeo 11 -- which
For CO 25SQN and senior ADF
officer on base, WGCDR Russell Page,
success was the result of long and careful
"We've had a small team, led by XO
SQNLDR Glenda Preston and airfield
engineer FLTLT Phil Jones, working
on plans for some time, identifying and
assessing potential impacts on the base,"
WGCDR Page said.
"You can plan for almost every even-
tuality, and if you're flexible you can
adjust to the unexpected, so I think that
enabled us to adapt to changing situations
The base population more than dou-
bled during the two weeks leading up
to and including CHOGM, with some
personnel staying in the tent city-styled
transit accommodation at Pearce.
The new vinyl tents were waterproof
and fully air conditioned, and sited
adjacent to the combined messes, with
residents progressively moved into other
accommodation as it became available.
The Defence Support Base Services
Manager at Pearce, Lyle Tucker, said
Transfield, the firefighter contractor,
brought in additional personnel from
South Australia, as well as from local
West Australian bases to ensure they
could maintain a Category 6 capability at
He said Spotless provided additional
base infrastructure and their staff worked
tirelessly to action any additional requests
and attended the base at all hours when
required to attend to system failures.
Pearce rises to the occasion
SHOWSTOPPER: A 3SQN F/A-18 successfully tests the Aircraft Arrestor System at RAAF
Photos: FLTLT David Cusworth
way to check the release of the
cable from the tail hook.
Then they begin to rewind the
cable and belt, which is reeled
back on to drums stored in a
confined space underground on
either side of the runway.
Air quality in the confined
space is monitored, personnel
entering the hole are logged
in and respirators are worn
because brake dust and nylon
particles can be present.
"In the Air Force, we like
to believe we lead the way in
safety," SGT Smith said.
With the rewind complete,
MEOMS personnel tie the cable
back into foam support blocks
before it is returned to its chan-
nel, and the runway is checked
for Foreign Object Damage.
An independent check is made
of the rewind, then the section
moves on to the northern end of
the runway for another run.
STABLE CABLE: CPL Chris McGowan secures the Aircraft
Arrestor System cable to support blocks.
New take on
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