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[Inspecting the DMO's establishments at RAAF Base Amberley]

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Minister for Defence Media Mail List -----------------------------------------------------------------------


THE HON. GREG COMBET MP Parliamentary Secretary for Defence Procurement

Wednesday, 9 July 2008 035/2008

Greg Combet, Parliamentary Secretary for Defence Procurement, today toured Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) establishments located at RAAF Base Amberley, Australia’s largest operational RAAF base.

“Inspecting the DMO’s establishments at RAAF Base Amberley provided me with an important opportunity to meet with DMO, RAAF and industry personnel responsible for sustaining and upgrading some of Australia’s frontline military aircraft fleet,” Mr Combet said.

Mr Combet’s tour included discussions with staff from the Strike Reconnaissance Systems Program Office regarding the retirement of Australia’s F-111 aircraft.

“The DMO is committed to sustaining the F-111 fleet through to its planned withdrawal date in 2010. Ongoing workforce transition planning currently underway aims to maximise the transfer of skills to support other aircraft such as the C-17 and Multi Role Tanker Transport,” Mr Combet said.

"Australia’s aerospace sector needs to remain flexible. There will be a continuing requirement for skilled workers in the aerospace industry to support Australia’s future capability requirements and it is very important we retain these essential skills,” Mr Combet said.

As part of his visit, Mr Combet also inspected the first of the four Airbus A330 aircraft being converted in Australia to a KC-30B Multi Role Tanker Transport under Project Air 5402.

“Project Air 5402 will replace the RAAF’s retired Boeing 707 fleet with five

new-generation KC-30B Multi Role Tanker Transports capable of refuelling current and future aircraft,” Mr Combet said.

“The refurbished facilities located at the Qantas Australian Conversion Centre at Brisbane Airport are impressive and the first Airbus A330 to be converted in Australia is progressing on schedule.”

Mr Combet also used his visit to inspect the C-17 Globemaster Heavy Airlift aircraft and facilities and the Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning and Control facilities.

“The C-17 Globemaster offers the ADF a very impressive air lift capability that will assist Defence’s domestic and international operations. The C-17 has already been used by the ADF to resupply

missions to the Middle East. It has also been used to provide humanitarian assistance to Papua New Guinea following Cyclone Guba and also to Burma following Cyclone Nargis”.

“The Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning and Control project is essential for the ADF’s future air combat capability and the Government is closely monitoring progress on the project,” said Mr Combet.

Media contacts: Rod Hilton (Greg Combet): 02 6277 4771 or 0458 276 619 Defence Media Liaison: 02 6265 3343 or 0408 498 664



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