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Craftsman : Craftsman 2012
RAEME CRAFTSMAN 2012 31 a 12.7 mm QCB Machine Gun shoot, and possibly, a little fishing (if time permits!). Still without a break in training for the year, an Air Breathing Apparatus Maintainer (ABAM) Course commenced. The ABAM course is designed to train students to maintain breathing apparatus, ancillary systems and associated equipment, including operating and maintaining breathing air compressors, cylinder filling and confined space breathing apparatus equipment. Again, being only 11 days long, the course provides an intense, yet rewarding, opportunity for the students to develop their skills and knowledge whilst in attendance. The Supervisor Watercraft Maintenance (SWM) Course is the pinnacle course of the Marine Engineering trade, and consists of 33 days off-the-job training for relevant personnel to prepare them for employment in units such as regional JLU's, 10 FSB and SOCOMD units as a watercraft maintenance supervisor. As a watercraft maintenance supervisor, you may be responsible for arranging and supervising heavy grade repairs to Army watercraft at a contractor's facility, including the associated trade repair responsibilities, or supervising an integrated military and civilian personnel on the JLU (NQ) Slipway, conducting annual slippings. Pre requisites for this course are completion of the WMC and WSC, Marine Equipment Maintainer (MEM), ABAM, and Outboard Motor (OBM) Maintenance Courses, and it is desirable the students have two years experience maintaining landing craft or SOCOMD watercraft. The METS staff are currently preparing to conduct a session of the OBM Maintenance Course, closely followed by a Marine Equipment Maintainer (MEM) course. The OBM course provides students with the skills and knowledge to maintain OBM to a medium grade repair level. This course is one of the more 'popular' courses, with the course panel of 10 filling quickly (must have to do with every man and his dog wanting to know more on how to maintain their own OBM fitted to their tinny at home!). This course trains students on OBM power-heads, fuel and electrical systems and gearcases, from 25 HP two strokes up to and including the 275 HP, 6 Cylinder, Super-charged Verado four stroke OBM fitted to Army's fleet of Noosa Cat craft. The course is conducted over 11 days. The MEM course is designed to provide the students with the skills and knowledge to maintain miscellaneous marine equipment up to medium grade repair. It includes training on the maintenance of sea survival equipment (life preserver vests and EPIRBS), inflatable craft (ZODIAC F470, six and 10 man Grand Raiders) and fibreglass repairs. The MEM course is conducted over 12 training days. METS also conducts the Bridge Erection Propulsion Boat (BEPB) Maintenance course. The purpose of the BEPB course is to train selected Defence and civilian personnel in the maintenance of the RAE's fleet of BEPB up to medium grade repair. The prerequisite for this course is completion of the WMC (or the previous Watercraft Maintenance Techniques Course). The BEPB course covers off on the engine and propulsion systems, and craft ancillary systems, is five days in length, and is conducted once per training year. METS also owns the TMP for the Marine Straddle Lift Operator Course. The aim of this course is to train selected personnel as operators of the 100 tonne marine straddle lift. The course is conducted as an exported training course, with the unit requiring the course requesting the TMP and conducting the course at their unit (specifically 10 FSB or JLU (NQ) at Ross Island Barracks, as that is the only location in Army that the marine straddle lift is located and operated). Watercraft Support Section By CFN C.J Gordon This year kicked off with another unfortunate high turn-over of Marine Fitters. Leaving the wing at the end of 2011 were CPL Mark Simon and CFN Ben Thorne, both electing to discharge, and moving on to enjoy the greener pastures of civilian life. Adam Danby was promoted to SGT and moved over to METS into an instructional role. The two new Marine Fitters posted into WSS in 2012 were CFN Craig Gordon, moving across the road from 10 FSB Marine FRG, and CFN Daniel Lewis, moving from the 1st ARMD REGT in Darwin. They take up their postings in WSS along side LCPL Stuart Stapleton, the sole Marine Fitter remaining in the section from 2011. With the Watercraft Support Section (WSS) being the true backbone of AST-MW, (no boats = no training) there is only three Marine Fitters to keep AST-MW's two LCM8s, fleet of Zodiacs, small craft, OBM, associated marine equipment, and of course, all the regular unit equipment and weapons, up and running. This pace could only ever be described as some-what BUSY. The year has only just begun, but we have already provided support to the full array of the Marine Specialists courses, Marine Engineering courses and Marine Terminal Officer's Course, as well as daily tasks on Cleveland Bay for navigation, weapons and general marine training. With the fitters of WSS providing maintenance, repairs, servicing and training to both the trainees and instructors of AST-MW, as well as support to the not so technically minded. With more courses to support this year, and plenty of time on the water to go, we can only imagine the variety of requests that Fitters of WSS will be called on to execute. The work may be hard at times, and not everyone's cup of tea, but it is very rewarding, offering a unique, and one of the best work environments any fitter in Army could ask for. Information If you desire a career in Marine Engineering in Army, you should approach your chain of command and request to be nominated on a session of a course. Further information on each course can be obtained from the Maritime Wing intranet site, http:// intranet.defence.gov.au/armyweb/sites/MWG-ALTC/comweb. asp?page=161427. Postings as a Marine Engineer can be professionally rewarding, challenging, interesting and diverse. As a crew member on board Army watercraft, you require a high level of self-motivation and ingenuity, as you are the sole technical specialist on board, answering to the CPL coxswain and often working independently from a workshop environment. Posting opportunities include (but not limited to) SOCOMD, RFSU, 10 FSB, AST-MW (WSS or METS). Should you desire a posting to an Army watercraft unit or position, you should update your EPAR and seek endorsement through your chain of command for forwarding to DSCM-A. The WO1 CMEI and WO2 METS Section Head are available to offer any advice you may seek and can be contacted via phone or email to discuss any questions you may have. There has been some uncertainty surrounding the future of Army watercraft; however, rest assured, the issues facing the future are being investigated at higher levels, and the future of Marine Engineering is as much in focus as that of the future of RACT Marine Specialists. Army's future focus under Plan BEERSHEEBA for amphibious capability should certainly place highly trained and skilled Marine Engineers in good stead for continued employment in Army. LARC V and LCM8 in holding station with LPA on exercise.