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Craftsman : Craftsman 2011
RAEMECRAFTSMANWinter2011 59 “Has everyone here got secret clearance? If not, you must leave this brief now” Upon arrival at 6 Aviation Regiment after a mid-break recall I was apprehensive, as were most of my fellow technicians. This time, 6 Avn Regt Technical Support Troop (TST) were about to be given orders on a special operation where we were required to ensure aircraft and associated role equipment was ready to deploy at short notice. On this occasion, we were tasked to provide much needed aviation support to TG 637 for OP QLD FLOOD ASSIST. To achieve this, 6 Avn Regt was to deploy a number of Black Hawks and Kiowa aircraft in order to underpin the search and rescue, infrastructure survey and airmobile activities assigned to the task group. From the tone of the orders and look of anticipation on my peers, I could tell that my part in the maintenance of aviation operations at 6 Avn Regt was treated seriously, and was crucial to the success of the organisation. It was my first week at the Regiment as an Aircraft Technician, however, I knew the year ahead promised many new challenges. As a new Aircraft Technician fresh from the training environment of AAVNTC, the pace and efficiency of the TST in preparation of Black Hawk aircraft was impressive, not only to see, but to be a part of. The work was prioritised, allocated and conducted quickly at all levels from the Troop Commander to the FRT SGT to the CFN on the floor. Furthermore, whilst operational focus was paramount, the “can do safely” attitude also shone through as an overarching theme amongst the workforce. No sooner had we returned from OP QLD FLOOD ASSIST, the unit was again put on short notice to move in preparation for Tropical Cyclone Yasi. All personnel snapped to action, mustering a formidable vehicle and equipment convoy ready to move North. Fortunately, the damage in QLD was not as significant as first anticipated, and this contingency did not eventuate. In conjunction with this activity, the unit continued to support flying operations at home base and preparations for support to Army in exercises across Australia. I quickly understood that this short notice tasking was part and parcel of working within 6 Avn Regt as an Aircraft Technician. 6 Aviation Regiment has supported the Army’s continually growing commitment to the Special Operations Aviation Task Group with an excellent record of safety and the willingness of the men and women of Support Squadron to continually work long and hard hours to keep an aging airframe flying without issue. Much of this support is directly related to Special Operations and underpins the security arrangements on the East coast. And when the flying is done, the RAEME Craftsmen within the TST are ready to service the aircraft, fix unserviceabilities, and have them ready for the next wave of flying. This commitment is significant and is often met with personal sacrifices such as reduced time with family and loved ones. I consider this commitment to be a testament to the professional RAEME Technicians of 6 Avn Regt who maintain this significant tempo and large workload in conjunction with an outstanding safety record. A craftsman’s introduction to 6 Avn Rgt in 2011 CFN Aaron Cummins and CFN Ben Pryor 59 unit jottings