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Maritime Logistics Community News : Autumn 2009
26 naVY SuPPLY nEWSLEttER autumn 2009 australian Clearance diving teams one and Four Australian Clearance Diving Teams One and Four are land based deployable Diving units complemented with unique skill sets which are an integral component to RAN underwater operations, Improvised Explosive Device Disposal and Explosive Ordnance Disposal capabilities. Both teams consist of four elements; Command and Support, Mine Counter Measures, Maritime Tactical Operations and Underwater Battle Damage Repair and are located at HMAS WATERHEN in Sydney and HMAS STIRLING in Perth. Historically, the Support element consisted of a Phase Four trainee Supply Officer and several support sub-departments. In 2006, a review was conducted into the establishment of a permanent Logistic Officer position in an effort to streamline the logistics support provided to the teams, offer a higher level of management and accountability to Command and provide consistency within the element itself. All of this was directed with an aim to ultimately enhance the diving capability by the provision of comprehensive and professional organic logistics support. The Support Element now consists of a qualified Logistics Officer and the traditional stores and administrative sub-departments. On a broader scale, the Support Element also encompasses all other components that provide a base from which the dive team operates including Coxswain, Medical, Gunnery and Seamanship, Technical and Communications sub-departments. This is a unique construct as most fleet based and shore based support units are normally departmentalised separately in differing locations and do not generally come under the direct administrative or operational management of the Supply Department. In order to directly enhance the dive team capability, Support Elements are required to be fully deployable, flexible and be able to successfully integrate with all aspects of dive training and operations, both domestically and internationally. The focus is aimed towards the provision of customer service and support from an organic level to ensure efficiency and effectiveness of team operations and minimise the need to rely on external agencies. Being a heterogeneous element enables specific support personnel to forward deploy with the teams to complement specific taskings whilst non essential personnel remain at base performing the role of shore support. This enhancing factor provides more flexibility in support procedures whilst deployed with the Support Element minimising the logistics footprint by focussing on efficient and effective use of deployable assets. Both teams are required to be ready to forward deploy even to the most remote locations and recently, such areas have included the Pacific Islands in OP KIRIBATI ASSIST and Palau Tioman Island in Malaysia for EX BERSAMA LIMA. These regions have minimal infrastructure which in itself poses many logistical problems especially relating to stores support, communications and movements. To be able to affectively support the dive team, the Logistics Element has to have the flexibility to be able to utilise and draw on all available local resources with a sole view to provide for and enhance the Clearance Diving Teams capability. The role of the Logistics Officer governs the many traditional supply related roles including service funds management, registry and administration and finance control. Additionally, there are the more unique aspects of the role which relate to the Clearance Diving Teams ability to deploy incorporating movements of personnel and equipment which is coordinated with the assistance of Joint Movements Group. The Logistics Officer contributes extensively throughout the entire planning process advising Command of potential logistical issues and liaising with external agencies to ensure the successful execution of any deployment. This enhances Command and the Diving Supervisors ability to focus on diving operational aspects. The logistics component, via the Logistics Officer and stores sub department, provide timely and correct supply chain solutions to Command often within an Joint Operations environment which in itself can prove challenging when dealing with tri-service organisations. Clearance Diving Teams have a vigorous and rapid stores trial and acquisition program in an effort to keep pace with technological advancements within the national and international diving arenas. This effort ultimately leads to the dive teams trialling and acquiring many unique items that are not codified and therefore not supported within the RAN stores network. This leads to the many challenges in both sourcing replacement items and the maintenance of ongoing life support. The Stores sub-department is required to manage procurement and liaise with a variety of outside agencies on a regular basis regarding maintenance and acquisition, conducting SCA transfers and remediation as required. Through having an embedded SN who has working knowledge of ADF stores management processes with an added appreciation of the associated diving related issues works also to further enhance the Dive Teams ability to closely manage these specialist equipment items. BY LEut StaCY CRaiGiE, Ran and SBLt LukE dEnnaRd, Ran STORES MOVEMENTS – AUSCDT ONE