Home' Air Force News : August 1st 2013 Contents 2
August 1, 2013
CPL Mark Doran
"IT'S like mastering Sudoku and Tetris
in one hit."
This is how WOFF Peter Evans, the
operations warrant officer of the Combat
Support Unit (CSU) Air Load Team
Tarin Kot, described the work of an air
CSU's Air Load Team in Tarin Kot
will boost its strength to 15 members as
the multinational base ramps up for the
end of the ADF mission in Uruzgan.
The current team of 10 personnel is
handling up to 30 aircraft movements
each week, including C-130 Hercules
and C-17 Globemasters.
"With their skill sets they can iden-
tify, plan and build a load, then balance
an aircraft and load it," WOFF Evans
"We are currently back-loading
the equipment and stores no longer
required as the ADF reduces its inven-
tory of equipment in the Middle East
Area of Operations."
All military equipment being reme-
diated from Tarin Kot is processed by
the Force Support Unit freight distribu-
In the past three months the team has
loaded and unloaded about 1,814,369kg
of cargo, vehicles and personnel.
WOFF Evans said his role was
to identify load requirements up to a
month in advance and coordinate all
required to arrange for efficient loading.
In the coming weeks and months
the ADF plans to return about 100 pal-
lets of general cargo each fortnight
from Afghanistan. This material is
flown from Afghanistan to Al Minhad
Air Base, unloaded by CSU Air Load
Teams and then transported by road
into Dubai before being loaded on ships
for Australia under the coordination of
the Force Support Unit and the Joint
Movements Control Centre.
Add personnel and vehicles to this
and CSU's Air Load Team can poten-
tially be handling up to eight aircraft
moves each day.
The ADF is using cargo ship
moves to bring home major materiel
to Australia including Australian Light
Armoured Vehicles, Bushmasters,
Unimogs and general cargo loads, which
have included vehicle components, uni-
forms and weapon mounts.
WOFF Evans said it was a physically
challenging workplace with a require-
ment to lift heavy items above head
height when building pallets in a hot,
"The job is also mentally taxing
with the requirement for numerous cal-
culations to ensure sufficient restraint,
aircraft limits are not exceeded and the
aircraft is balanced," he said.
"Each load is different and requires
examination on how to fit it into an
aircraft -- for example the mine rollers
which attach to the front of vehicles
require a fair bit of twisting, turning
and shoring to get them onto a pallet
in a size and shape that would fit into
Air Load Team
ramps up in TK
CPL Mark Doran
REMOVAL of communications
equipment from Afghanistan, as the
ADF approaches the end of its mis-
sion in Uruzgan, is a large-scale job
requiring significant planning.
Radios, towers, antennas and
many kilometres of cable link the
communications infrastructure in
Kabul, Kandahar and Tarin Kot.
The challenge for the communi-
cators is removing the bulk of this
infrastructure while maintaining
mission-essential capabilities until
the final day.
The Tarin Kot-based communica-
tions extraction team consists of nine
Air Force and 13 Army personnel
who are part of Alpha Squadron,
Force Communications Unit (FCU).
Coordinated planning is required
between FCU, civilian contractors
and the small team responsible for
winding up communications support
to the mission in Uruzgan.
SGT Scott Duncan, of 1 Combat
Communications Squadron (1CCS)
Amberley, is part of the theatre line
detachment and said the team is
"They love the work as we are
not just focused on one job and every
task is different," he said.
"If there are new installations
required we will do them, but we are
predominately here to pull the infra-
structure down. Our main challenges
are the time frames and the heat
which has been extreme."
Riggers climb the 25m antenna
masts, which is a test of endurance in
the 40 degree celsius-plus heat.
LAC Kyle Fraser, of 1CCS, is a
telecommunications rigger on his
second deployment to Afghanistan
and said climbing the masts was a
"You have to trust the guy with
you and the ground crew and hand
signals and communication are
important to avoid injury or worse,"
"Since my last deployment in
2011 I have noticed it is quieter as
there is less traffic around the base,
which means less dust.
Australia's end of mission. I helped
install the network last time I was
here, and now we are taking it
Sky high riggers
ON A HIGH: LAC Kyle Fraser from the Tarin Kot-based communica-
tions extraction team hooks a section of antenna mast to a crane at
Multinational Base Tarin Kot.
Photo: CPL Mark Doran
BALANCING ACT: LAC Darren Brooks, of the Air Load Team Tarin Kot, helps guide a cargo net as the team
prepares to load a C-130 Hercules.
Photo: CPL Mark Doran
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