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www.defence.gov.au/news/NAVYNEWS September 26, 2013
WO2 Andrew Hetherington
LIVING and working in Hawaii may
sound like a fairytale to some, but for
a small group of Navy personnel it is a
reality, and a lot of hard work.
CPOCIS Shane Moss is one of
five Navy personnel among a team
of 16 dedicated and highly skilled
ADF and APS personnel, working
in the US on Australia's contribution
to the Wideband Global Satellite-
Communications (WGS) Project .
The group, referred to as
Cooperative Project Personnel (CPP),
is embedded with the US military
working at Colorado, Nebraska and
Australia's senior military CPP
under the WGS Project is WGCDR
Patrick Del Guidice who said
Australia's commitment to the project
began in November 2007 when it signed
a Memorandum of Understanding
(MOU) with the US.
"This made Australia the first inter-
national partner to this project with the
US," WGCDR Del Guidice said.
"Under the MOU, Australia funded
the acquisition and sustainment costs
for satellite number six, known as
WGS-6 totalling approximately $800
Essentially, Australia's contribu-
tion to the WGS constellation gives
Australia access to the first six WGS
satellites, which are globally distribut-
ed, until the MOU ends in September
The ADF can utilise the communi-
cations payload aboard these satellites
to allow deployed personnel to com-
municate from the field to base loca-
tions and back to Australia.
The WGS-6 satellite was launched
on August 7 from Cape Canaveral
aboard a Delta IV rocket.
WGCDR Del Guidice was one of
the lucky Australians to witness the
launch. "We were all nervous and
excited in the lead up to the launch,"
WGCDR Del Guidice said.
"Nervous because launches rare-
CPL Nick Wiseman
AUSTRALIA will play a greater
role in space surveillance with
the relocation of a US radar to
Exmouth in WA.
It is the first radar of its kind
in the southern hemisphere, and
will be operated by Air Force and
Director Defence Space
Coordinating Office GPCAPT
Colin Thomson said instead of
expecting allies to track and pro-
tect space-based capabilities on
our behalf, the ADF would now be
"There has been a movement
in the international community
to seek input from other nations
rather than the US doing it all,"
GPCAPT Thomson said.
A US national guard unit has
begun work on the installation at
Exmouth and it is scheduled to be
up and running in 2016.
Once operational, Air
Force members at RAAF Base
Edinburgh will be able to track
items in orbit around the earth.
Sailing into satellite space
ly go exactly as planned and can be
delayed by hours, days, weeks or even
months depending on the issues.
"Excited, as this was the satellite
Australia funded and for Australia it
was a major milestone in the project.
In the end, everything went exactly to
plan and the satellite was successfully
CPO Moss began working in
Hawaii in January and has many dif-
ferent roles ranging from ensuring per-
sonnel under his care perform to the
requirements of the MOU, to organis-
ing shifts and training for subordinates.
"I'm responsible for the regulation
of all Australian personnel in the unit,
which includes ensuring we achieve
the training and operational goals for
sergeant equivalent and below person-
nel, who control the payloads aboard
the satellites," CPO Moss said.
"I have a responsibility to support
their training and the welfare of them
and their families while they are here
and ensure they return to Australia as
up-skilled wideband satellite commu-
"I'm also the unit security officer
for Australian interests and ensure per-
sonnel integrate into US base activi-
ties, shifts and complete mandatory
and scheduled training."
Being posted was something CPO
Moss aspired to do in his Navy career.
"I was always interested in working
in a representational role overseas and
when the opportunity came up, I was
very excited," he said,
"I held eight of the nine mandatory
prerequisites for the position and was
only required to complete a refresher
course to make myself be the success-
CPO Moss said it was the people
who had made the posting a career
"It's both ADF and US personnel
who've made this the best experience
of my career in the ADF," he said.
"I'm also supported by extreme-
ly professional NCOs who carry out
the operations component of the unit.
They are innovative, receptive to
change and able to adapt to new cir-
cumstances at short notice."
He said living and working in
Hawaii had been an excellent experi-
ence for him and his family.
"We live at Haleiwa, on the north
shore of Oahu and life's good in a
quiet country setting," he said.
"It's an excellent part of the island
for fishing, surfing and other outdoor
"Learning the local culture and see-
ing life from a different point of view
has been an exciting experience."
CPOCIS Shane Moss is part of a
team working in the US on satellite
US radar to relocate to Exmouth
ALL SYSTEMS GO: The WGS-6 ready for liftoff at Cape Canaveral.
• To read more on the WGS-6 satellite
launch visit www.nasatech.net/ntWGS-
• For more about the WG satellites visit
• To view video of the WGS-6 Delta IV
rocket launch visit www.youtube.com/
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