Airline and Airport

The Transition of the Station Engineering Organisations.

Following the operational pause of Sentry in late 2016, a body of work was undertaken by the RAF to understand how the airworthiness of the platform had reached the point when the Duty Holder chain was unwilling to let it fly.

This was primarily led by the RAF Safety Centre, who conducted the Independent Review of Sentry Maintenance. This wide ranging and detailed investigation looked at the entirety of the Sentry enterprise, spanning the RAF, Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S) and civilian partners.

This review made a series of recommendations, endorsed by CAS, to improve the Continuing Airworthiness of Sentry, and the other RAF platforms. The major recommendations were discussed at a Continuing Airworthiness workshop involving senior engineers and safety specialists from across the RAF and civilian partners. There were 3 key recommendations that informed the workshop:

1. Rationalisation of roles and responsibilities across Forward/Depth/Continuing Airworthiness Management Organisation (CAMO) and DE&S Delivery team.

2. Reduction of the organisational complexity.

3. Re-assignment of resource as required.

While these overarching recommendations kicked off a wide range of activity across the RAF, the main action for Waddington was the action to develop an “airport/airline” model for the A4 elements on Station in order to quickly address the recommendations. This has become the on Station A4 transformation you may have heard of.

The planning of this new structure was led by Engineering & Logistics Wing (ELW) HQ, involving all areas likely to change. While final infrastructure changes are still being addressed, the organisational change has taken place as of 04 Jan.

ELW and the ISTAR CAMO have now been reorganised into 2 new wings; Base Engineering & Logistics Wing, responsible for engineering and logistics support to the Station and Force Elements, and Force Engineering Wing, responsible for the CAMO and other airworthiness activities.

Primarily this transition concerns the first recommendation above; it was identified that the division of roles between OC ELW and the Military Continuing Airworthiness Manager (MilCAM), made it difficult to delineate the different airworthiness responsibilities held between them.

Hence the concept of an engineering organisation responsible for all airworthiness activity, and another for the other critical engineering and logistical support delivered by ELW. This also addresses the recognised over-burdening of OC ELW, by rebalancing the various roles held between OC ELW and the MilCAM into the OC BELW and OC FEW positions, meaning both Wg Cdrs will have the capacity to properly manage their AORs.

Personnel on Station should expect to see some changes to post titles, and some other material changes, over the next few weeks and months.

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