Home' Navy News : August 15th 2013 Contents 10 NEWS
www.defence.gov.au/news/NAVYNEWS August 15, 2013
WO Anthony Wills
STAGE one of the engineering
challenge for aviation technicians
was fought out between seven
teams from July 22-26 at HMAS
This stage of the challenge
required two teams from each
squadron and a team from the Navy
Aviation System Program Office
(NASPO) to compete inhouse to
represent their squadron in the next
Teams had to repair a section
of simulated aircraft structure after
damage that mimicked small arms
fire or minor impact.
The test required teams to assess
the damage, plan the repairs, com-
plete all documentation requirements
and then effect the actual repairs.
Competition organiser WO
Gerry Eastgate said the competition
was designed to be as realistic as
"We ensured that the documen-
tation and administration that would
normally be required was included
in the competition process," WO
"The simulated damage had
been sustained to both the airframe
as well as electrical and communi-
cation cabling for avionic systems.
"While it was not a race between
the two teams, a time limit was
imposed that would be expected in
real life scenarios," he said.
723SQN teams were led by
POATAs Philip Barrett and Tim
McNamara and had quite different
approaches to the challenge.
While the damaged structure and
cabling appeared simple, the teams
quickly found it to be a healthy
challenge to ensure the repairs were
made in full accordance with rel-
evant instructions and procedures.
ABATA Nathan Edwards, of
816SQN's winning team is hoping
for more competition in the future.
"It was a great idea and I
think that more people should get
involved in next year's challenge,"
AB Edwards said.
"The idea of winning an over-
seas trip to an engineering confer-
ence makes it even better," he said
The four winning teams have
qualified for the second of the three
rounds to be held September 24-25
at Albatross. The overall winning
team will qualify to wear a cuff-rate
on ceremonial uniforms identifying
them as champion technicians and
will be afforded an opportunity for
overseas travel for an industry exhibi-
tion or defence equipment exposition.
Winning teams: 723SQN: PO McNamara,
LSATA Brett Channon, LSATV David
Timmers, ABATA Michael Cameron and
ABATV Justin Macey. 816SQN: POATA
Troy Stanners, LSATA Tim Bennett, LSATV
Gian Archer, ABATA Edwards and ABATV
Ryan Bagshaw. 808SQN: POATA Martin
Partridge, LSATA Mark Struber, LSATV
David Broadhurst, ABATA Matthew
Moore and ABATV Jeffrey Kimmel.
NASPO/HQ-FAA: POATA David Dillon,
LSATA Henry Whitfield, LSATV Shane
Gibbon, ABATA Sam Dever and ABATV
Engineering challenge heats up
THE latest group of aircrew from
NUSQN725 have completed their
Naval Air Training and Operating
Procedures Standardisation (NATOPS)
checks in Florida, US.
It is another milestone for the
squadron which is introducing into
service the ADF's most technologi-
cally advanced helicopter, the MH60R
-- or Romeos as they are also known.
In other major highlights ahead of
a busy time:
The first of the basic course stu-
dents are due to arrive from
Australia this month to start their
12-month flying training.
NUSQN725 XO LCDR Todd
Glynn successfully completed Deck
Landing Qualifications on board
the guided missile cruiser, USS
The first pilots, aviation warfare
officers and sensor operators are
expected to graduate from their
advanced training this month, after
which they will reinforce their
skills with several months of struc-
tured on -the-job training by flying
with US Navy squadrons.
On July 30, the squadron took pos-
session of a new hangar at 1122
Jacksonville Air Base, a space it
will have to vacate when it leaves
for home in December 2014.
The airmen who completed their
NATOPS in June include two instruc-
tors and the first cadre of aircrew for
the inaugural MH60R flight to sea.
Now they have grasped flying the
Romeo, they have advanced to the tac-
tical stage of the course and are learn-
ing to master the aircraft's multi-facet-
ed mission and weapons suite to fight
The students will continue the tac-
tical phase including employing the
imposing dipping sonar.
For the new kids on the block, the
Romeo will be their first taste of fly-
ing the Seahawk helicopter.
The pace will be brisk as they
come to terms with cutting-edge sys-
tems and learn to exploit the vast
amounts of information the Romeo
Once graduated and on return to
Australia they will form part of the
first RAN Romeo ship's flight.
With the first aircraft arriving
in early December the capability is
quickly starting to take shape.
NUSQN725 continues to grow in
Jacksonville, Florida, but it's not the
arrival of new sailors -- it's a baby
Over the past five months,
five new babies have joined the
CO CMDR David Frost said this
represented a baby for every month
the squadron has been formed.
"If we keep this rate up, we'll
return home with more US pass-
ports than Australian," CMDR Frost
joked. "We're in a unique situation
here with the squadron forming in
the US. It has certainly brought us
all closer together and the entire
squadron celebrates the arrival of a
"I'm very happy for the new
mums and dads and I look forward
to seeing some of these kids main-
taining and flying the Romeo heli-
copter in 18 years."
training TOUCH DOWN: Above, LDCR Todd Glynn who completed deck landing qualifications in the helicopter.
ON THEIR WAY: Left,
trainees, from left, LEUT
Aaron Abbott, LCDR
LEUT John Flynn
and LEUT Warren
Oates who completed
Naval Air Training and
Boosting the population in Jacksonville
BABY BOOM: CMDR David Frost, with NUSQN725's new mothers and babies.
Photo: LEUT Mark Flowerdew
SIMULATING REALITY: ABATA Matthew Bowker makes repairs
during the Engineering Challenge competition. Photo: WO Anthony Wills
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