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Craftsman : Craftsman 2012
RAEME CRAFTSMAN 2012 30 The Army School of Transport -- Maritime Wing (AST-MW) is located near the mouth of the Ross River at Ross Island Barracks, Townsville, in sunny tropical North Queensland. There are two sections that employ RAEME soldiers at AST-MW; the Marine Engineering Training Section (METS) and Watercraft Support Section (WSS). METS is responsible for the development and delivery of all marine engineering training within Army and includes a diverse range of equipment, principles and systems; from medium sized boats such as Landing Craft Mechanised 8 (LCM8) to the smaller six man inflatable Zodiac, from high speed marine diesel engines (including 8V92TA and Series 60 Detroit Diesel engines) to 25 HP outboard motors, from compressed air breathing apparatus to fibre-glassing, and from individual life preserver vests to 10 man life-rafts. WSS crews and maintains the unit's fleet of watercraft and associated unit equipment. There is never a dull day in AST-MW for the RAEME boys! The current generation of RAEME staff working at AST-MW this year continue a long and proud history of Marine Engineering in Army. AST-MW can trace its heritage to the now closed Chowder Bay Barracks, on the southern side of Sydney's Middle Head. Ross Island Barracks is also home to the Marine Engineers of the 10th Force Support Battalion (10 FSB) Workshop Marine Forward Repair Group (MFRG) and the 35th Water Transport Squadron. 10 FSB has become somewhat of a 'feeder' unit; with RAEME soldiers moving further afield into the wider Army and SOCOMD units, having cut their teeth on LCM8, Noosa Cat and LARC V's at 10FSB. Marine Engineering Training Section 2012 got off to a flying start for the METS. The new march-ins WO2 Andrew Gillam (Section Head) and SGT Jason Peterson arrived on 16 January to complete the mandatory training and instructor development (TAE10 Certificate IV Trainer/Assessor) requirements for the year, whilst the remaining section members (SGT's Adam Danby and Mat Fergusson, and CPL Brendon Kealley) remained on leave (or in the case of SGT Danby, 'holidaying' on the west-coast buying up some of Perth's hottest real-estate!). Although not technically a member of METS, the WO1 Chief Marine Engineering Instructor (CMEI), WO1 Shaun Murray, is the Subject Matter Advisor for Marine Engineering in Army. The position is a training support role implementing and maintaining ALTC training and assessment systems in accordance with the relevant ASQA standards for Registered Training Organisations incorporated in Defence, FORCOMD and unit policies and procedures. The WO1 Marine Engineer is the senior Marine Engineering specialist in Army, and provides advice on all matters related to the Marine Engineering specialist ECNs, including all training and equipment relevant to the Marine Engineering trades. WO1 Murray is currently kept busy compiling Training Management Package (TMP) amendments and guiding the METS staff for TMP part five updates and development, in addition to his myriad of extra-regimental appointments. METS also calls on a number of Reservists to supplement the ARA staff. WO1's Ken Arnold and Ian Joyce, WO2 Clint Hackett, CPL Mark Simon and CFN Gordon 'Tiny' Monro provide a range of instructional, course development and maintenance support to AST-MW. METS has a suite of nine courses that keep the instructors extremely busy for the year. All courses which METS conduct are now open to ECN 146 and selected ECN 229, as well as selected civilian tradespersons employed by Defence. The training year commenced late in January with both a LARC V Maintenance Course and a Watercraft Maintainer course beginning concurrently. The LARC V Maintenance Course trains students to maintain the LARC V, ancillary systems and its associated equipment. Being that the only unit to operate this equipment is 10 FSB at Ross Island Barracks; the course panel was filled (eight students) from 10 FSB. The LARC V Maintainer Course covers the LARC's 6 cylinder B-series Cummins engine, the complex marine and road drive-train and craft hydraulic and electrical systems. Following completion of this course, Marine Fitters may be employed within the 10 FSB MFRG conducting medium grade break-down repairs such as replacing engines or transmissions and annual servicing tasks on LARC V. Alternatively, they may be posted to the Amphibious Beach Team within the 35th Water Transport Squadron as a Marine Engineer conducting light grade repairs and servicing in the 'field' to keep the units fleet of amphibians operating. The Watercraft Maintainer Course (WMC) provides students with the skills and knowledge to maintain Army's medium sized watercraft such as landing craft (LCM8), SOCOMD watercraft and patrol craft to a medium grade repair level. It consists of theory and practical aspects for marine engine and propulsion systems, basic ships construction, inspections and documentation for watercraft, hydraulic and electrical systems. The WMC is 37 days in duration and prepares Marine Fitters for employment to maintain watercraft assets within units such as 10 FSB MFRG, SOCOMD units such as SASR, 2 CDO REGT, or RFSU units such as NORFORCE or 51 FNQR. Immediately following the WMC course, METS conducted a Watercraft Specialist Course (WSC). This course is 25 days in duration and provides students the skills and knowledge to maintain Army watercraft such as LCM8, SOCOMD watercraft and patrol craft to a medium grade repair level. This course qualifies the students to fill the role as a craft engineer/crew member on-board. The WSC covers off aspects of ships husbandry, operation and maintaining the 12.7mm QCB machine gun and elements of shipboard safety. As a craft engineer at a unit such as 10 FSB, you get to take 'ownership' of a craft's engines, machinery and other systems, and become responsible for implementing work schedules from EMEIs and ensuring all repairs and maintenance tasks are completed both along-side and at sea. This is in addition to being the sole technical specialist on board to provide advice to the CPL coxswain (RACT). You will also be responsible to the CPL coxswain for maintaining the craft's technical integrity, and supervising the quality of crew level operator maintenance. The diversity of work and responsibility for a CFN Marine Engineer far and away exceeds that of an armourer who may be sitting in a unit armoury conducting small arms inspections. The WSC culminates with the Summative Assessment phase, conducted on-board AST-MW's LCM8's, off the Queensland coast in the Coral Sea. Commonly referred to as a 'sail-away', the phase see's the students participate in crew activities at sea, including conducting Army School of Transport -- Maritime Wing WO2 Andrew Gillam METS Section Head LCM8 on exercise being lifted aboard a LPA.