HMAS Stirling is leading the charge with innovative ideas and techniques to help motivate the workforce and provide better support to the fleet.
Stirling's Gunnery Officer, Lieutenant Adrian Eddy, and his team have embraced the concept of innovation to achieve two outcomes - strengthening the relationship between Army and Navy in the Naval Joint Fires domain, and improving workplace pride.
Lieutenant Eddy recently had Army colleagues from 8/12 Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery, join members of his department at Lancelin Naval Bombardment range, in Western Australia, so they could see how Navy did business.
Driven by a desire to see Navy and Army work more effectively together, Lieutenant Eddy said his team was pursuing a range of other innovative initiatives.
“Following the Army visit to Lancelin, I sent Petty Officer Boatswain Danny Haber up to visit 8/12 at Robertson Barracks and we embedded staff from my team into an exercise at the Mount Bundy Training Area,” Lieutenant Eddy said.
“The Army team wanted us to simulate a response from a shipborne point of view and have their forward observers ‘call in fire’ while simultaneously having their own artillery batteries under pressure.
“The ultimate outcome is our Army colleagues are familiar and comfortable with Navy procedures as we progressively move towards increased joint training and operations.”
Lieutenant Eddy recognises that innovation can take many forms.
“I asked my team to come up with ideas for improvements in how we conduct business at the Armoury, and also on the aesthetics of the building.
“Empowering people and enabling them to generate pride in their own workplace very much touches on the principles that will underpin delivering outcomes for Navy.”
The armoury staff have redone the gardens, rebuilt seats and furniture, painted Navy murals and laid out traditionally knotted walkways.
“When people arrive at work to a facility that looks tidy, professional and welcoming, they start the day with a sense of pride,” Lieutenant Eddy said.
“And that pride is boosted when they hear other members of Stirling's ship's company commenting on the new appearance of the armoury.”
The gunnery staff have also embraced Navy’s signature behaviour of cost consciousness.
“All the work at the armoury did not cost Defence a single dollar.
“We have re-used supplies and material lying around Fleet Base West.”
Lieutenant Eddy also liaised with base command to secure approvals before conducting any work.
“When Chief of Navy told us at an innovation workshop in May that he wanted us to fix problems, to take action, to challenge and to innovate, and that we will need to do this every day, I was keen to put his words into action.
“We have a couple of early runs on the board, but we need to keep looking each day for the incremental improvements that will help our Navy deliver the 2018 vision.”
Another classic case of innovation at work can be found at the Circuit Card Assembly Test and Repair Facility at Fleet Support Unit - West also in Stirling.
Petty Officer Electronics Technician Philip Andrew has developed new in-house training on repairs that have up-skilled team members.
“Training that promotes development of innovative techniques combined with availability of new test equipment has led to reduced lead times on repairs for the fleet,” Petty Officer Andrew said.
“This in-house ability has also resulted in significant savings to Navy on contractor costs.”
The team now manages the process from start to finish, including conducting complex fault finding, testing and repairing of circuit cards.
“The result is the team is able to send the repaired cards back to their units faster than previously possible.”
The actions of Petty Officer Andrew and his team are directly contributing to the capability of Fleet units at sea.
“Increasing numbers of circuit cards are being sent to the team from a range of ship classes, as well as shore equipment,” Petty Officer Andrew said.
Petty Officer Andrew and his team continue to seek out innovative ideas to further improve the way they do business.
“Innovation is important no matter what your position is,” Petty Officer Andrew said.
Check out below the case study video developed about this. The video can also be viewed on the Navy Video Library at http://video.navy.gov.au/play/d5ZGNrdzq3YYLA57ONZG5Soq2Kw49dtt.