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Maritime Logistics Community News : November 2009
48 NAVY SUPPLY NEWSLETTER SPRING 2009 SUBMARINE RESCUE SERVICE LR5 RELOCATION TO AUSTRALIA It is not everyday that you are offered a role which will see you organising the physical movement of 144 tonnes of Submarine Search and Rescue equipment from the other side of world, so when that day arrived, I was eager to assist and get my hands on a great international logistics experience. On the 2 April 2009, HMS directed the relocation of James Fisher Defence (JFD) Submarine Rescue Service LR5 equipment to Australia. The move would improve response time to rescue RAN submarines in Australian waters and allow extensive exercises to be planned with RAN Collins Class Submarines. To assist the COLSPO with this significant task, I was formally seconded from JLU(W) to assist. The enormity of the task at hand was first realised when reading through the existing JFD Air Transportation Plan, being informed we had one month to have the equipment in location, and for the duration of the relocation; all equipment had to remain at 12 hours notice to move. There were a multitude of tasks to consider, which were mapped out on a generic project schedule provided by the COLSPO. The first task I needed to complete; involved establishing liaison with contractor and military staff, both within Australia and abroad. This enabled me to derive what aircraft or shipping configuration would facilitate carrying the required load, what services could be provided, asset availability, and associated timeframes and costs. This information formed the basis of an Options Paper which compared the feasibility of a commercial, military or a combined approach. It was evident from an early stage that for cost efficiency and ease of operability, a combined commercial/military arrangement would be most suitable. It was decided that JFD would organise the chartering of a ship to relocate the Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV), as well as coordinating all ground logistics. Due to the associated costs with a fully commercial airlift solution, a RAAF C-17, utilising RAN hours was to be used to transport the LR5 vehicle and both mechanical and electrical workshops. Joint Movements Group (JMOVGP) was to coordinate the tendering and chartering of a B747 to move all other associated equipment. While COLSPO staff tackled the complex contract documentation and procurement strategies, I lead the movement of equipment. I had multiple considerations including organising the assets, costs, insurance arrangements, organising customs and quarantine responsibilities, organising landing and over-fly rights ownership, dangerous goods, police notification, media control requirements, loading and unloading responsibilities and contingency plans due to aircraft unavailability. Various milestones helped me achieve required tasks along the way. These included producing Risk Assessments, Comparative assessments, and Statements of Work. In addition, utilising and fostering communication between JFD, Aviation Consultants, Freight Management companies and military organisations such as JMOVGP, JMCO Perth, Air Mobility Control Centre (AMCC) and Air Movements Training and Development Unit (AMTDU) allowed a relatively seamless logistics timeline to occur. A window of opportunity was identified by AMCC for the C-17 of the 22-29 May. Numerous checks and calculations had to be conducted between AMCC and Aviation Consultants-UK to ensure that the intended load out plan could safely occur. Once this was ensured, the use of RAN C-17 hours was approved and an Air Task Directive was given. All other arrangements could then be organised around these core dates, including the tendering of a B747. Once Deployment Planning Data Sheets (DPDS) were submitted to JMOVGP through JMCO Perth, JMOVGP could go out to tender. The successful tender; ALLTRANS was announced on the 19 May. Apart from the huge logistics exposure I was gaining, I was also able to fly to Glasgow to oversee the loading of both the B747 and C-17. Arriving in Glasgow three days prior to aircraft arrival allowed for meetings with JFD staff to occur and allowed AMTDU staff to conduct an Air Transportability Assessment for the C-17 uncleared load. With both aircraft arriving safely in Glasgow, the next two days were spent loading. The B747 took approximately 9 hours to load, while the C-17 took 8 hours. With two refuelling stops, the B747 flew directly to Perth International Airport, arriving on the 27th May. Met by JMCO Perth, all cargo was transported to the Henderson warehouse on clearance of quarantine and customs. Already ahead of the 12 hours notice to move, I returned with the C-17 via fuel stops in the US. Whilst in Hawaii, and as if the RAAF Gods were smiling upon us, the C-17 had a technical fault and we were forced to spend an extra 24 hours in location. With aircraft faults rectified, the C-17 landed at RAAF Pearce on the 2 June, with all equipment being safely transported to Henderson. The ROV, transported by sea, arrived at the end of June. The LR5 and associated equipment relocation from the UK to Australia was achieved successfully, with a few logistics issues identified throughout the move. The relocation involved a solid six week period of planning, coordination and liaison. Logistics lessons learnt were captured in the Post Activity Report (PAR) and distributed to key organisations. Future exercises will test the veracity of plans from a logistics perspective and test the short notice deployment of the LR5 in response to a rescue site. With the LR5 and all associated equipment in location, the Submarine community can now focus on the next phase; deployment of the suite as an integrated unit. The LR5 relocation project was a complex, expensive and high visibility project. The international component of the project helped me appreciate the nuances of organising facets of logistics across different time zones. The project also highlighted the various engineering and ‘mover’ type issues which can and will arise no matter how robust the initial plan is. The key component to the success of the project was communication. Without the numerous organisations involved; engaging in multiple daily conversations, emails and SITREPS, the project would not have been possible or achievable. State in Focus – WA BY LEUT KELLY HAYWOOD, RAN LR5 (IN SHIPPING CONTAINER) AWAITING LOADING ONTO RAAF C-17 AT PRESTWICK AIRPORT. LR5 SUBMARINE SEARCH AND RESCUE VEHICLE ONBOARD RAAF C-17 . PORT LEG BEING LOADED ONTO B747 AT PRESTWICK AIRPORT.