Our August site visit was one of the most interesting and insightful we have had to date. This is ASCI’s first step as we change the format of our site visits and ramp up the learning experience to new heights and what better way to start this take off than with the RAAF Base Richmond.
The day started off with ASCI staff and members meeting up on a crisp Richmond morning at 8:30, where we were lead into the base and given our safety briefing. The first session provided an outline of the Australian Defence Organisation’s supply chain, including the role of Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group (CASG) in supporting the C130J and C27J aircraft based at RAAF Richmond.
Now we come to the exciting part, we got to go inside the C27J Spartan , a battlefield airlift transport aircraft operated by Number 35 Squadron. This particular aircraft is able to move people, equipment and supplies in Australia and the surrounding area. Inside, we got to see how everything is packed in and all the different facilities they have to get their goods from point A to point B. The aircraft is able to take a wide variety of tasks including being able to support humanitarian missions in remote areas, delivering ammunition to front line troops and also undertake aero-medical evacuation of casualties. This aircraft is able to carry a significant amount of weight and land on airstrips that are not suited to some of their other aircraft, providing additional capability especially on humanitarian disaster relief missions.
Some of the C27J’s missions include air drops, this means they cannot land due to the damage or limited capacity of an airstrip however supplies are still able to be delivered. Our next stop was 176 Air Dispatch Squadron, where the parachutes used for the air drops are cleaned, repairs, packed and stored. These parachutes go through a whole production line to make sure they are suitable for both trained personnel and supplies which can include supplies as large as tractors.
Our day ended with a chat about the storage of inventory in the Australian Defence Force including the use of a national network of warehouses and storage sites. This allowed for question time, where members were able to better understand concepts used at the RAAF Base Richmond and take these notes back to their own daily job.
The whole experience was interesting and shows the steps ASCI is taking to make these experiences more exciting and intriguing for members to benefit. One member stated, it was a “great lifetime experience… thanks for organising it.” We are eager to see what our next site visit will entail!