Home' Air Force News : November 24th 2011 Contents 8
Air Force Improvement
The Australian Human Rights Commission (the Commission) is conducting a
Review into the Treatment of Women in the Australian Defence Force. Specifically
the Review is examining the effectiveness of cultural change strategies and
initiatives required to improve leadership pathways for women in the Australian
The Review is being led by Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Elizabeth Broderick,
who chairs the expert Review Panel.
The Review Panel is now calling for written submissions. In particular, written
submissions are being sought on the following aspects of the Terms of Reference:
The effectiveness of the cultural change strategies recommended by
the CDF Women's Reference Group in the Women's Action Plan including the
implementation of these strategies across the Australian Defence Force;
Measures and initiatives required to improve the pathways for increased
representation of women into the senior ranks and leadership of the Australian
Defence Force; and
Any other matters incidental to the terms of reference such as sexual
harassment and abuse and sex discrimination.
The Review will not be investigating or making findings in relation to individual
allegations or complaints. The Review can only report and make recommendations
in relation to the systemic issues arising from the Terms of Reference.
Submissions will be accepted over a four week period from
Saturday 5 November to Sunday 4 December 2011.
To view the full terms of reference and to lodge a submission please refer to
the Submissions page of the Commission website at www.humanrights.gov.au/
For any inquiries in relation to the Review submission process please see our
website or contact the ADF Review Secretariat by email at defence.review@
humanrights.gov.au or call 1800 656 945.
Please note that submissions received will ordinarily be made available on the
Commission website. People wishing to make a confidential submission should
make this clear at the time of lodgement and the Review will not publish those
submissions on the website. However, people should also be aware that whilst
every endeavour will be made to ensure confidentiality, the Commission is obliged
to determine any request for access to documents made under the Freedom of
Information Act 1982 in accordance with that Act.
Call for Submissions into the
Treatment of Women in the
Australian Defence Force
DOING things smarter and better is
the message from Air Commander
Australia AVM Mark Skidmore on
Air Force Improvement (AFI).
AVM Skidmore said continu-
ous improvement could be achieved
through challenging inefficiencies in
work procedures and processes.
He said there was clear evidence
that members were actively seeking
better ways of doing the work.
"Some of the improvements may
not have a direct financial benefit, but
may make the members' jobs easier
or give them some extra home time,"
AVM Skidmore said.
"There are dozens of projects
and 'Just do it' initiatives being
implemented across Air Command.
It is good to see the level of grass-
roots enthusiasm that is driving the
AVM Skidmore said he had wit-
nessed "some amazing success sto-
ries" during his visits to bases.
"We have seen some massive
financial achievements such as the
coordinated effort between 1 Radar
Surveillance Unit and Over the
Horizon Radar Systems Program
Office, which yielded contract sav-
ings of approximately $100 million."
He said equally important were
myriad smaller initiatives such as the
1 Combat Communications Squadron
work area reorganisation, which
streamlined processes and made the
section a much safer and more pleas-
ant work environment.
"One collateral benefit of the AFI
program is that we are seeing a much
closer relationship between the FEGs
and their supporting Defence Materiel
Organisation Systems Program
Offices as they collaborate to achieve
greater efficiencies and reap the asso-
AVM Skidmore said Air Force
needed to maintain a culture where
it was constantly reviewing the way
business was done and challenging
processes and practices that do not
make sense or can be done better.
"The best person to do this is usu-
ally the person doing the job on a
day-to-day basis, so we need a high
level of engagement right across the
organisation," he said.
"If we are going to achieve the
desired outcomes, we must not allow
a 'business as usual' mentality to sti-
He said this would require leaders
at every level to plan improvement
activities and actively manage their
work schedule or flying programs.
"Most importantly, no ma
what activity we undertake, w
always ensure that we do not
promise capability, safety or
AVM Skidmore said the
Air Force must remain
patient and energised, even i
some good ideas did not get
implemented straight away.
"Keep the good ideas
coming; Air Command
units have always had a
culture of looking for bet-
ter ways to do business,"
Improvement is a struc-
tured program to reinforce
and maintain that culture so we can
meet the future requirements of Force
FLTLT Skye Smith
CO 76SQN WGCDR Chris Hake did not
have to go far to get ideas on lean processes.
WGCDR Hake, along with 76SQN
engineering officers and maintenance
SNCOs, went on a field trip across the
tarmac to visit BAE to see what they are
doing to be more efficient.
The unit training coordinator, FSGT
Luke Sweeney, said it provided a good
insight on what other companies are doing
and how those changes could be imple-
mented at 76SQN.
The BAE team gave a presentation
on their lean journey, including the cost
savings that have been made to their com-
Trials with BAE at 76SQN have been
done on the forward store to make the
delivery of spares on B shift more effec-
tive.76SQN has also been working closely
with BAE, the Tactical Fighter System
Program Office and the Hawk Integrated
Logistics Operation Centre to provide
resources and effort to the areas that most
An example of this in action is taking
on engine change activity to support the
engine overhaul program when deeper
maintenance resources are stretched or
during a period of high operational main-
76SQN armament section identified
areas where a significant number of hours
could be saved by reducing the large
amount of redundant stores management
system testing required whenever configu-
ration changes are carried out.
By conducting this review, the sec-
tion could save up to 1296 man-hours per
year, easing some of the burden placed on
It also enables more configuration
changes to be programmed to allow for
flexibility in the flying program.
ACAUST AVM Mark Skidmore.
HEALTH Services Wing
(HSW) faced a challeng-
Over the past 12
months its personnel have
responded to many challenges
-- Cyclone Yasi, including the
short-notice overnight evacua-
tion of the Cairns hospital; the
Pakistan floods, the Queensland
floods, the Christchurch earth-
quake, Japan tsunami and
annual Pacific Partnership
deployment to help regional
neighbours, as well as the wing's
ongoing commitments to opera-
tions in the MEAO and exercises.
During the same period HSW
conducted more than 200 aero-
medical evacuations as well.
These achievements were a
testament to the professionalism
and dedication of HSW's team
personnel; however, such a high
rate of effort takes its toll on a
small workforce in high demand.
Could HSW do things better
OC HSW GPCAPT Michael
Paterson believed it could and
sought assistance from Combat
Support Group's (CSG) Combat
Support Improvement Program
CSIP was established to pre-
pare CSG to support Force 2030.
It began working with HSW
staff to analyse HSW's organi-
sation and operations; what it
does, why, and how.
All aspects of the health
function -- expeditionary, clini-
cal skills, training, preparation,
logistics, administration, systems,
processes, and structure -- were
scrutinised in the light of future
As part of the process, a
workshop was recently conduct-
ed that mapped out the current
processes of HSW.
This led to the identification
of several improvement oppor-
tunities, ranging from relatively
simple 'Just Do It' activities, to
larger continuous improvement
initiatives and projects.
HSW personnel would under-
take the smaller activities while
the CSIP team would assist with
the larger, more complex ones.
The end benefit to HSW
would be a model that opti-
mises resources and employs
the best and smartest ways of
doing business, amid a grow-
ing culture of cost-conscious,
"The CSIP provides a valu-
able mechanism to help HSW
conduct a critical review of
how it delivered the health
effects required of it," GPCAPT
"From this platform we can
more confidently shape HSW to
meet the dual goals of meeting
customer requirements whilst
sustaining a viable workforce."
The HSW improvement
initiative is a part of the whole-
of-CSG improvement program
facilitated by CSIP.
Next, the HSW experience
will be adapted and replicated
for the group's airbase and expe-
This will deliver a complete
in-depth picture of CSG's roles
and responsibilities as detailed
in its concept of operations.
EVER READY: Above, medical personnel from
RAAF Base Amberley begin unloading patients on to
Queensland ambulances at Brisbane Airport during
Operation Yasi Assist in February. Photo: CPL Peter Borys
Health Services Wing tackles
way it goes about business
Ideas were close by for 76SQN
WE CAN WORK SMARTER: Right, OC HSW GPCAPT
Photo: LAC Dan Pinhorn
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