Joint logistics integral to submarine capability

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Will Singer (author), ABIS James McDougall (photographer)

Location(s): Fleet Base West, RAAF Base Pearce

Topic(s): HMAS Stirling, Submarine Force

The staff from Fleet Logistics Support Element Submarines, HMAS Stirling, gathers after loading stores on board a RAAF C-17A Globemaster III at RAAF Base Pearce, Western Australia.  (photo: ABIS James McDougall)
The staff from Fleet Logistics Support Element Submarines, HMAS Stirling, gathers after loading stores on board a RAAF C-17A Globemaster III at RAAF Base Pearce, Western Australia.

It takes a special logistical effort across the Defence organisation to keep submarines fully equipped to sustain a peak state of capability and operational readiness.

The Fleet Logistics Support Element Submarines team, located at Fleet Base West, is the essential cog in a large and well-oiled machine that plays a critical role of managing the availability and delivery of submarine equipment.

Officer-in-Charge, Lieutenant Commander Kim Coleman, said that the joint effort was key to success. 

“We are a four year old group that is dedicated to the logistical support of submarines which has evolved with personnel becoming more and more flexible,” he said.

“We continue to strive towards the operational success of submarines and is an integral part of Navy’s submarine capability.

“While our Air Force colleagues are not called upon often, their assistance has proven invaluable in movement of some unique high priority submarine equipment at short notice,” Lieutenant Commander Coleman said.

Royal Australian Air Force Flight Sergeant Dominic Dempsey said that he was part of the team that helps satisfy the immediate and demanding requirements of submarines. 

“This has been fulfilled through aircraft transporting necessary equipment and manpower both within Australia and overseas,” Flight Sergeant Dempsey said. 

“We have recently been tasked with providing immediate logistic support for HMAS Rankin deployed in Guam. 

“RAAF Base Pearce Air Movements and Navy personnel worked together to coordinate the transfer of over four tonnes of submarine equipment from HMAS Stirling to Guam, USA, through RAAF Pearce via one of our C-17A Globemasters. 

“Other recent similar events involved aircraft delivering equipment and stores to HMAS Farncomb in Adelaide as well as critical operational equipment to HMAS Sheean in Hawaii during Exercise Rim of the Pacfic.

“In each case, the submarines operational success could not have been achieved without the coordinated efforts of Navy and Air Force, to supply critical items at the right place and on time.

“Air Force and Navy’s interoperability is imperative to the successful operational capability of submarines,” he said.