Crucial load handled with precision
The No. 23 Squadron air movements team at RAAF Base Amberley has supported the deployment of an ADF construction team to Fiji to help rebuilding efforts following Cyclone Yasa late last year.
CAPTION: Air movements operators from No. 23 Squadron and loadmasters from No. 35 Squadron load engineering equipment bound for Fiji onto an Air Force C-27J Spartan at RAAF Base Amberley. Story by Flying Officer Robert Hodgson. Photo by Leading Aircraftwoman Emma Schwenke.
The cyclone caused significant infrastructure damage and, throughout this year, the ADF has supported the immediate emergency response and the longer-term reconstruction effort.
No. 23 Squadron air movements, in coordination with Air Mobility Group aviators and aircraft, was at the centre of the team effort in the August deployment of construction engineers and their equipment to Fiji.
Independent load inspector Corporal Adam Parrington, from No. 23 Squadron, said he recognised the importance of building a team.
“Teamwork is extremely important in our workplace,” Corporal Parrington said.
“The senior members of our team love helping build the skill set of the newer generation of movements’ personnel.
“Seeing the growth in skills and confidence of our people is a reward in itself.”
The daily flight board predicts a large part of the air movements team’s schedule. Managing diverse loads and different aircraft is all part of the job.
Some loads are easier than others, and the particular task to deploy the construction engineering team required close cooperation between air movements and the No. 35 Squadron C-27J Spartan loadmasters.
Corporal Parrington said the cargo, including a vital water desalination unit, had to be loaded by hand, which ensured the maximum utilisation of the space available within the aircraft.
“We often work closely with the 35 Squadron loadmasters to ensure all requirements are met,” Corporal Parrington said.
“The ‘loadies’ will direct us as to the where and how they want the cargo loaded and constrained to meet the criteria.”
The result of their teamwork saw the aircraft properly and safely loaded with the vital equipment to assist the Fijian reconstruction effort.