RAAF support to Task Group Taji
2 March 2016
It may be an Army Task Group, but without three key Royal Australian Air Force personnel Task Group Taji would not be able to sustain its people.
An Air Liaison Officer and two Air Load Team (ALT) airmen are currently deployed with Task Group Taji to ensure all air movements in and out of the Taji Military Complex run smoothly.
Air Liaison Officer SQNLDR Rouhan said his team enjoyed the challenge.
"There are most certainly challenges, but the ALTs are definitely the quiet achievers at Taji," he said.
"They are making things happen for the Task Group."
The majority of the ALT's work is done late into the night, which makes the loading and unloading of equipment off aircraft more difficult.
The challenge became intense when a key piece of equipment, the Aircraft Truck Loading Unloading (TALU), became unserviceable.
Facilitating a replacement was the RAAF team's number one priority.
SQNLDR Rouhan said the team needed to replace the TALU earlier than anticipated because of the harsh environmental conditions and increased workload of the vehicle.
"Bringing a TALU in on a C-130 Hercules is tough, but a procedure exists to ensure everything goes fine, and it did," he said.
"The TALU brings a significant capability to the Task Group because it allows cargo to be unloaded and loaded quickly, which means aircraft can minimise their time on the tarmac.
"Having equipment such at the TALU is crucial to ensure we can achieve a sustainable effect to the task group."
The TALU also means extra personnel are not needed to help with the load and unload.
Being the only RAAF members of a 400 strong Army Task Group also presents some good-natured challenges.
SQNLDR Rouhan said while the Army did some things a little differently it was always enjoyable working with them.
"Except when there are disruptions to the flight schedules," he said.
"Then it's time to make yourself very scarce."