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Craftsman : Craftsman 2012
RAEME CRAFTSMAN 2012 22 Plan Pelican is FORCOMD's plan to reform and modernise Army aviation maintenance support, and in September it will have been 12 months since COMD FORCOMD signed the Directive that effectively launched the plan in earnest. The plan began with a detailed baseline definition and investigation of the issues, and it was during this time that we hired the assistance of the consulting firm, KPMG. The baseline and issues definition phase involved visits to units and other supporting organisations to conduct interviews and discussions that resulted in hundreds of data entries. These have since been synthesized into key findings of what the real issues are (as opposed to the perceived issues). The latest stage in the plan (highlighted in the figure) saw over 60 representatives from the RAEME aviation capability along with representation from RAN, RAAF and DGTA-ADF, converge on Oakey for the Plan Pelican Options Workshop during 17 to 19 July. The aim of the workshop was to develop reform options that address the issues found. The objectives were to: • gain a collective understanding of the issues and the need for reform, • develop and prioritise the potential reform options, • group the options into common themes with consideration of benefits, consequences and trade-offs, and • commence the reform process. All RAEME participants were energised and motivated by the activity but perhaps the best endorsement can be gleaned by quoting the senior Navy person in attendance, CAPT Reilly: "The three-day workshop was held in a disused hangar at Oakey airbase, and was facilitated by KPMG. KPMG ran a pressure cooker environment 0730 through to after 2000 the first day and only slightly less on the next two. The process worked without lunch breaks or breaks for brews etc with all attendees under the pump. We were centrally briefed on numerous exercises and broke out into small teams to tackle them. We were pressed to produce results in strictly controlled times slots; eating on the run and presenting team results to the combined audience after each exercise. In parallel, KPMG's team copied (photographic and video) and distilled all the white board information, presentations and select team discussions allowing them to present a detailed summary report by the following Saturday (yep, within two days of completion!). The process started with encouragement to spill the beans on what problems exist within Army aviation -- and this was most revealing and honest. This was followed by the development of blue sky concepts on how RAEME Aviation could gain efficiencies and participants were driven to eventually devise practical options across the spectrum of inputs like policy and supervisory reforms, the wider use of self certifying authorisations, rank and skill level mixes, rationalisation of the number of trades and contractual reforms that reach into redefining maintenance levels, and the use of an integrated workforce. C2 and capability delivery and demarcation between corps were also thrown into the mix." The last day was a day of distillation -- narrowing to devise real options with as much detail as possible. The Combat Aviation Technician effect is alive and well but the popular solution of producing a 'super tradesman' is probably not the solution as much as a combination of activities that delivers a framework allowing a higher level of flexibility in the use of Army aviation maintenance and contracted staff across multiple aircraft type and trade boundaries. The Options Workshop was a success in that it met the objectives and provided a well discussed basis for going forward but there is still a lot of work to be done. The next steps will be: • Plan Pelican Steering Group (PPSG) 23 Aug 12 for guidance, • Business case development, • PPSG Nov 12 for selection of options to implement, and • Commence implementation from 2013. RAEME Aviation -- Plan Pelican Options Workshop July 2012