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RAAF'S capability demonstrates government's mismanagement

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■ M e d i a R e l e a s e · J i m Carlton

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The effects of record wastage rates within the RAAF, caused by Labor's mismanagement of service personnel, have come home to roost.

The Hawke Government's attempts to relieve the chaos of the current domestic pilots strike by using RAAF resources to ferry commercial passengers have been less effective than should be the case.

Those aircraft, including part of the VIP fleet and a limited number of Hercules, which are being used for strike relief duties are not flying the hours which they could because of the restricted number of flight crews available.

Critical shortages of Flight Crew Captains and Flight Engineers in the RAAF, caused by high wastage rates in these specialisations, has restricted the numbers of flight crews the RAAF has to operate its aircraft.

This reinforces the point that the most serious aspect concerning the record wastage within the RAAF is the loss of experienced senior pilots from the Service.

In spite of claims that the RAAF has sufficient numbers of qualified pilots in the Service to operate its aircraft, it does not have the "surge capacity" to sustain a credible level of operations.

The Government's strike-breaking initiative clearly demonstrates this point and provides a sobering assessment of the RAAF's operational capacity.

It also bears out the findings of the RAAF's report of January 1989, Study Team Report on the RAAF Officer Manning Deficiencies. which confirmed that RAAF operational efficiency has been seriously downgraded as a result of manpower deficiencies.

31 August 1989 14/89

Contact: Jim Carlton or Simon Brooks (062) 77 4152/77 4145