Sharing a common goal focused on science-based capability solutions has united the Air Warfare Engineering Squadron (AWESQN) and Defence Science and Technology (DST) Research Engineering teams in South Australia.

In November 2019, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between the Air Warfare Centre (AWC) and DST highlighting integration and innovation across Defence.  

“AWESQN gained access to a much larger and more advanced workshop,” AWESQN Systems Development Flight Commander Squadron Leader Clinton Hallam said.

“In return, we provided DST with a number of highly skilled metal machinists and avionics technicians for their technical workshop.

“While still relatively new, the collaborative MOU has shown increased benefit to both organisations.”

DST continues to provide timely, high-quality products while the AWC technicians have delivered a boost to DST personnel by providing a broadened set of skills and philosophy to DST tasking. 

AWC technicians also gain access to technology and work that would otherwise be unavailable to their mustering in Air Force. 

DST Leader Electronic Fabrication Gordon Sherlock said efficiencies were gained through consolidating effort to one site to satisfy the customer’s requirements.

“Customers may provide no more than a concept or an idea to the technicians who then work in collaboration with the customer to develop engineering plans and products,” Mr Sherlock said. 

“The prototypes developed are suitable for proof of concept or for trials in support of ADF research and development activities.”

AWESQN Avionics Technician Corporal Lee O’Regan works in the AWESQN Instrumentation Maintenance and the Electronic Fabrication department within the Research Engineering Division at DST. 

“I have always wanted to work on aircraft, specifically fighter jets, which I was lucky to do in Williamtown at 77 Squadron,” Corporal O’Regan said.

“My career progressed to deeper-level maintenance at No. 81 Wing Combined Workshops conducting troubleshooting and repairs – this is where I developed skills working with complex electronic assemblies.

“Moving to Adelaide on posting to Air Warfare Engineering Squadron allowed me to work directly with engineers on projects and modifications.

“My interest in electronics has certainly progressed and influenced my interest in science and technology within Defence.

“The knowledge and skills required to be a good technician have inspired some DIY home projects over the last couple of years with great success.”