The right tools for Navy’s biggest ships

Proactive sailors have improved the way landing craft is maintained on board HMAS Adelaide, resulting in time and cost savings.

CAPTIONMarine Technician Leading Seaman Billy O’Grady with equipped toolboxes on board HMAS Adelaide. Photos by Corporal Jacob Joseph.

Marine technicians on board recognised that the simple addition of equipped toolboxes would allow them to complete larger jobs, including replacing craft clutch assemblies.

Leading Seaman Billy O’Grady worked with Leading Seaman Tyrnne Hoskins to request more tools up the chain of command.

Up until then, they borrowed tools from other departments and relied on contactors for most maintenance.

“The craft were originally fitted with small tool boxes but these disappeared over the last decade. There was nothing dedicated to the workshop for ongoing maintenance,” Leading Seaman O’Grady said.

Now, equipped with drawers and shelves full of spanners and wrenches, the small workshop has a “dream” tool cart and the sailors can tackle more than routine maintenance.

Navy’s biggest ships, landing helicopter docks (including Adelaide), are designed to carry troops and equipment from sea to shore – meaning their landing craft are crucial to amphibious operations.

And these vessels depend on the marine technicians who maintain them.

Leading Seaman O’Grady said the clutch assembly replacement would have cost thousands if handled by contractors.

“We completed the job the first time around and in under six hours,” he said.

But the benefits weren’t just financial.

“Morale was sky high through the whole section,” Leading Seaman O’Grady said.

“Not only by doing more productive work, but by having the right tools for the job – the guys really look forward to getting into it.”

Soon after, a similar workshop set-up was rolled out on HMAS Canberra, Navy’s other landing helicopter dock.

“Our plan was to have Adelaide equipped, then Canberra and Amphibious Watercraft Squadron equipped the same so all landing craft areas would have adequate tooling,” Leading Seaman O’Grady said.

“The capability has grown astronomically, not only for ourselves on HMAS Adelaide but the amphibious task force.”

CAPTIONLeading Seaman Billy O’Grady scrubs a cable on a landing craft on board HMAS Adelaide.


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