Innovative Navy aviator builds new model for deployable capability

Published on CPO Chris Marsh (author), LACW Jacqueline Forester (photographer)

Topic(s): 808 Squadron, Fleet Air Arm

Able Seaman Zacharie Wright-Hansen, right, last year at the Sea Power Conference with Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Mike Noonan AO, RAN, centre, and Seaman Rosemaree Scarpino. (photo: LACW Jacqueline Forester)
Able Seaman Zacharie Wright-Hansen, right, last year at the Sea Power Conference with Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Mike Noonan AO, RAN, centre, and Seaman Rosemaree Scarpino.

The deployable nature of maritime aviation is ever-evolving, with its assets required in areas as diverse as the back of a ship, embarked on a C-17 or land-based.

Able Seaman Aircraft Technician Avionics Zacharie Wright-Hansen from 808 Squadron has been working on a deployable logistics model with Army Headquarters after spending time deployed with 808 Squadron Flight 03.

He noticed a need for a permanent and modular infrastructure to deploy the Navy’s aviation assets in a timely and safe manner, to avoid failure or damage to the current equipment during transport.

“What really motivated me was my time undertaking the Fleet Air Arm Systems innovations course,” Able Seaman Wright-Hansen said.

“It doesn’t matter your rank: if you have new ideas push them up and make them heard; you will not only make your own job easier but you will likely shape the future of our Navy,” he said.

After his team assessed their storage requirements and considered options, they have come up with a new system of products which will heavily reduce a flights transport and storage footprint.

One of the proposed off the shelf products known as the 'shark cage'.

One of the proposed off the shelf products known as the 'shark cage'.

“The shark cage and joint intermodal container can be used to house items of vital test equipment and tooling, meaning they no longer require a shipping container [in most situations].

“The added bonus is: as the shelves and crates are modular, you deploy exactly as you operate at home base,” Able Seaman Wright-Hansen said.

“The goal is to deploy and operate at sea exactly as we do ashore, and be pre-prepared for any tasking so the Navy has more capability out of its aviation assets,” he added.

In early March, the Royal Australian Navy ran a physical trial of the products in containers at the MRH-90 deeper maintenance facility in Brisbane, where all Army aviation units viewed the units for their use as well.

The new joint modular intermodal container and inserts.

The new joint modular intermodal container and inserts.

The trial units are currently part of an Army HQ Logistics rollout.

Lieutenant Leigh Paulin, the 808 Squadron Flight Support Engineer responsible for overseeing all deployed assets said the units would make deploying easier.

“It’s always worthwhile to examine the way we do things and look at innovations to make our work more efficient and capable.

“I appreciate the work of Able Seaman Wright-Hansen to help create a custom-fit solution for our needs and support the Navy capabilities,” Lieutenant Paulin said.

A formal report has been drafted with the trial findings and a decision brief will be submitted to Fleet Air Arm for review.