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May 4, 2012
Air Force Improvement
NUMBER 395 Expeditionary
Combat Support Wing
(395ECSW) has downsized stores
holdings at Air Force's bare bases
by 25 per cent, reducing waste and
ensuring they are a true reflection
of the capability requirement.
Air Force maintains a cache
of stores at each of the bare
bases in Australia -- Scherger
in Queensland and Curtin and
Learmonth in Western Australia
-- to ensure it has the ability to
establish and operate forward air
bases in Australia.
OC 395ECSW GPCAPT Ted
Prencel said caches were stored
at each bare base to enable the
quick activation of the base when
The caches generally include
items such as catering equipment,
bedding and defence stores.
A recent review conducted
by 395ECSW found the stores
holdings differed at each base
and inadequate storage conditions
were resulting in the deterioration
"The cost of replacing the
stores that are deteriorating in
the harsh conditions is high, as is
the stocktaking and maintenance
of each of the caches," GPCAPT
"As a result of the review we
are streamlining stockholdings
and management processes of
these caches, and downsizing the
cache stores at the bare bases.
This new approach aligns with the
Combat Support Group concept
of operations and, once complete,
will provide more effective,
responsive and flexible support to
395ECSW is well on the
way to implementing the new
approach to bare base caches. The
stores required for the downsized
caches have been determined and
have been packed for Curtin and
No. 1 Airfield Operations
Support Squadron will be looking
at the requirements for Learmonth
in coming months.
Further improvements being
considered include the option of
having the bare base caches held in
a centralised location to allow for
easier governance and maintenance.
GPCAPT Prencel said his team
had done a great job identifying
ways to ensure they could contin-
ue to deliver bare base capability
requirements at a reduced cost.
"Current indications are that
there could well be significant
numbers of stores returned to
national inventory and even more
sent to disposal or sales," he said.
NUMBER 44 Wing, working with the Defence Materiel
Organisation (DMO) and Defence Support Group
(DSG), has successfully reduced the annual operating
costs of its Operational Maintenance Trainer (OMT) by
about $80,000 a year.
44WG provides battlefield airspace management
and air traffic services for the ADF. They use the OMT,
through a contractor, to train maintenance staff and
develop systems software.
In 2010, the contractor notified Defence that it was
relocating premises. As the OMT had been housed
at the contractor's premises, this was going to mean
additional costs for the Commonwealth and the move
presented an opportunity to re-think arrangements with
the contractor, reducing the cost of training.
SQNLDR Suzanne Keddie, of Headquarters 44WG,
said the timing worked well for them, as the training
contract had expired and they needed to test the market
to ensure ongoing efficiency and effectivenes.
44WG staff grasped this opportunity and the
decision was made to move the OMT to a centrally
located facility. They then worked with DSG to secure
and refurbish a facility at RAAF Base Richmond and
worked closely with the Ground Telecommunications
Equipment System Program Office to organise and
fund the removal within existing funding.
"The new facility is great. It provides us with a good
training environment," SQNLDR Keddie said.
"On top of this, having the OMT at Richmond
presents a real saving for 44WG as it will significantly
reduce the travel costs for trainees."
OC 44WG GPCAPT Forster Breckenridge said it
was a simple initiative that clearly demonstrated it was
possible to make improvements within the existing
budgets, without impacting airworthiness, safety or
"The 44WG team continue to take up this chal-
lenge with a number of additional projects under way.
Through these activities I am confident that we can
deliver our required capability in a more efficient and
effective manner," he said.
Move to Richmond
brings big benefits
WAY FORWARD: Orions
on Operation Resolute
operating out of RAAF
Learmonth, which is one
of the three bare bases to
have stores rationalised.
Photo: LACW Kylie Gibson
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