A group of Supply Chain and Logistics Management students and professionals attending the biennial Smart Conference and Expo, recently braved the winter rain to participate in a site visit to Fleet Base East and to HMAS Ballarat.
As the Smart Conference aimed to immerse delegates in the latest information and knowledge on supply chain and logistics management, visiting Ballarat offered a unique insight into the logistical challenges and opportunities the RAN presents.
Commander 8th Brigade, Brigadier Allan Murray, a professional logistician and past national president of the Logistics Association of Australia said that as industry is keen to learn from Defence, especially its ability to manage complex spare parts and also to put in place supply chains at short notice in degraded environments, the visit to Ballarat was a great opportunity.
“I gained a good understanding of the difficulty you face in storing inventory and the limitations of space onboard. The amount of manual handling required to move stores throughout the ship of your type is another difficulty,” BRIG Murray said.
“Another factor is the fatigue management noting your busy time at sea. It's definitely not a warehouse, it is a fighting ship and rightly that fact takes primacy over civilian approaches to logistics.”
Coinciding with these visits has been the pre-work up training including 5-inch and 12.7mm gunnery, warfare serials, seamanship evolutions and officer of the watch manoeuvres with HMA Ships Perth and Stuart and ESPS Cantabria.
LEUT Dylan Phillips who was involved in coordinating the visits along with developing the training plan in his role as the Operations Officer said the past month had been a very busy period for Ballarat especially with the shake downs and work up training.
“Although it has been extremely busy it is a great opportunity to bring the ship back together after a long period alongside in maintenance,” LEUT Phillips said.
“At the same time it is hosting different groups of personnel onboard provides an excellent opportunity to show off Ballarat and showcase what the Navy does.”
Additional imagery is available at http://images.defence.gov.au/S20130726.