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Old 27th Oct 2014, 03:35   #2321 (permalink)
 
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So do you think Sarcs that she has been coached on how to respond to the questions? I thought that Sterle was going to throw something at her and her lack of understanding about the role of the PWC suggests that she has not been put in that job for outstanding administrative abilities. Another fall person for Mrdak I think.
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Old 27th Oct 2014, 06:58   #2322 (permalink)

 
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Staibilizers deployed!

Lookleft,

Quote:
So do you think Sarcs that she has been coached on how to respond to the questions?
Yes. That is all part of the game. She may not have known the exact wording of each question, but she would have mostly known what was coming. And for anything 'surprising' or out of left field she well knows that 'I will take that on notice' or 'I don't recall' is the get out of jail free card.

Quote:
I thought that Sterle was going to throw something at her and her lack of understanding about the role of the PWC suggests that she has not been put in that job for outstanding administrative abilities.
She was hired because she knows how to play the political bureaucratic game. Her career history is testament to that. However, those roles are always a poison chalice and usually only last a few years. Most people take these positions toward the end of their career, earn big dollars for 3 to 5 years then retire on that nice taxpayer funded superannuation nest egg. (And maybe dabble in some consulting or lobbying)

Quote:
Another fall person for Mrdak I think.
You think correct. She is expendable, and she knows it. These people are and will always be the fallguy (in Staibs case, fallgirl) for the Minister. But nothing will happen, after all, Russell signed off on a $900 million contract and when the kitchen got too hot he resigned and went to work for that very contractor
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Old 28th Oct 2014, 21:49   #2323 (permalink)
 
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Random thought: Are there any other female two stars about to pull the pin and leave the ADF?

The CASA Frankenstein has yet to feast on female flesh at the DAS level.
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Old 29th Oct 2014, 02:55   #2324 (permalink)
 
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Dougy's got the scoop.

Creamy DAS prediction?? Creamy it seems you nailed the former two star prediction but got the gender wrong...

Mark Skidmore is the new DAS

29 Oct 2014
Doug Nancarrow


AVM Mark Skidmore AM is the new head of CASA. Expect a formal announcement before the end of this week.

Wikipedia link - Mark Skidmore
Quote:
Early life and career[edit]

Skidmore was born in Kowloon, Hong Kong on 15 March 1959, and joined the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) as an Officer Cadet in 1977.[2] He completed Number 113 Pilots Course and was posted to No. 1 Squadron, RAAF Base Amberley to fly the General Dynamics F-111.

Following his tour on F-111s, Skidmore undertook the United States Naval Test Pilot School Fixed Wing course in 1985. At the completion of the course he was posted to the Aircraft Research and Development Unit, RAAF Base Edinburgh, where he flew F-111, Dassault Mirage III, Macchi MB-326H, AESL CT/4A and Douglas C-47 Dakota aircraft.

In 1989, Skidmore returned to RAAF Base Amberley and completed tours at No. 1 Squadron as the Operational Flight Commander and No. 82 Wing as the Operations Officer. This was followed by a posting as the Flight Test Director on the F-111C Avionics Update Program in California, USA. Returning to Australia in 1996, he served as the Staff Officer Operational Systems at Headquarters Air Command, RAAF Base Glenbrook, before resigning from the RAAF in March 1998. Skidmore joined Aerospace Technical Services in 1998 as the Senior Test Pilot and Business Development Executive, positions he maintained following the company's acquisition in 1999 by Raytheon Systems Company.

Skidmore rejoined the RAAF in 2000 and completed the Defence Staff Course at Weston Creek before being posted again to the Aircraft Research and Development Unit, this time as the Commanding Officer. From 2003 he was Director of Operational Requirements for the New Air Combat Capability project.

Prior to assuming the position of Joint Force Air Component Commander in 2005 he attended the Defence and Strategic Studies Course at the Australian Defence College, Weston Creek. During 2005 he was deployed to the Middle East Area of Operations where he served as the Director Combined Air Operations Centre. For this service he was awarded a Commendation for Distinguished Service in the 2007 Australia Day Honours List.

Skidmore was promoted to the rank of Air Vice Marshal and appointed as the Air Commander Australia on 27 June 2008.

In 2013 Skidmore test flew the RAAF Museum replica Bristol Boxkite at Point Cook, Victoria for about 1000 metres and reached a speed of 42 mph.
[3] Skidmore was quoted as saying "It was an exhilarating and humbling experience, I am honoured and proud to follow those aviators who pioneered military aviation in this country" and "I now also have the honour of being the only RAAF pilot who has flown both the fastest and slowest aircraft in the Air Force."[4]
MTF...
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Old 29th Oct 2014, 03:56   #2325 (permalink)

 
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The new DAS will be Herr Skidmore

Correct Sarcs. The announcement is imminent and Herr Skidmore is the new DAS, my source confirmed this last night. I've been saying for some time that it wouldn't be Wake UP Terry, even though the rumour for some time has been that he would get the permanent gig.
So another RAAF/test pilot it shall be. A trusted government comrade, like Staib, who knows how the game is played...

Fun fun fun
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Old 29th Oct 2014, 03:59   #2326 (permalink)
 
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They failed to mention ‘his’ gender reassignment…

Another patsy for the Frankenstein to consume.

I’m sure he’ll be extraordinarily well advised by a loyal team who’ll be behind him all the way.

The dynamic 2 star duo are going to be a lot of fun to watch at Estimates.

(PS: RIP GA in Australia.)
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Old 29th Oct 2014, 08:07   #2327 (permalink)
 
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Management: "What do you mean there is no one with any experience to recruit?"

Chief Pilot: "Well Sir we don't have any GA airports, or Industry, so people are not learning to fly anymore."

Management: "We will just start an MPL program, no one needs those bug smasher flying skills anymore. After all it's just a big computer game!"

The new generation.

Lets hope we are all pleasantly surprised
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Old 29th Oct 2014, 10:49   #2328 (permalink)
 
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It doesn't seem that anyone else has made the point about the new DAS having been a former test pilot. So what? Glad you asked. What it means is that the only Senator with any aviation experience has just been trumped by the new DAS with equivalent if not greater aviation experience. From my experience with former military pilots they tend to hang on to their deference of the senior rank even in civvie life. Those with greater knowledge may correct me but I'm sure an AVM outranks an LC. Mrdak has once again demonstrated why he is the master of manipulation when it comes to the PS versus the Parliament. I'm sure AVM Skidmore has dealt with PS Mandarins before but of course now he is working for one. An interesting contest.
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Old 29th Oct 2014, 11:51   #2329 (permalink)
 
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No contest.

Like McCormick, Skidmore's stuffed. Wouldn't have a clue how to fix regulatory reform, and will be smart enough to pretend it's on track for completion 'soon'.

A lucrative public sector job prior to moving on, and that's it.
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Old 29th Oct 2014, 11:57   #2330 (permalink)

 
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Gotta hand it to you Lookleft, an astute post. I hadn't really thought about the "Skidmore vs Fawcett knowledge and experience"side of things
This could indeed be a stroke of genius by MrDak. Very interesting potential twist, having a new DAS that could use that experience and knowledge to challenge the Senators.
'Wake Up Terry' is also a former test pilot however he is flat out staying awake for his midday Bonox or managing to get through his hourly bladder test these days! Never mind, I'm sure he will get along well with Skidmore, swap a few test pilot stories, just hope the DAS doesn't find a horse head in his bed

And Creamy, you are ever so naughty. I had already thought what you just said, but I said to self 'self, do I post these thoughts, or do I let the new DAS commence his new role (January?) before I pass comment on how he is settling in'. But just like a Brisbane FOI at 'The Pink' on a Friday afternoon I didn't want to fire off too early! But you beat me to it.....
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Old 29th Oct 2014, 19:32   #2331 (permalink)
 
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A figure head, for the Captains bed?

The interest now is in who will be appointed to hold his jacket and do the heavy lifting. We must pray to our pagan gods of choice that no one 'internal' gets promoted. Skidmore (temptation resisted) will need a Paul Tyrell and a Mike Smith "type" to back him up; as he will have precious little knowledge of what makes an airline tick and sweet bugger all idea of how GA lives on the razors edge. He will have Fawcett – Semper Fidelis and all that. (Nice one Lefty, Choc frog standard....). Mark you, Cosgrove (as a military example) never cut the mustard on the Qantas board, rolled about in the clover with the rest of them. Anyway there is a meeting Friday, 'we' apparently need to convince the new boy that Part 61 is a crock and perhaps he'll throw it back down the cesspit it came from, where it belongs: we must do this for free after CASA spent gods know what producing a crippled beast, to harmonise with the Frankenstein choir.

We (IOS) will soon see if the new boy has any bollocks, brains, integrity and resolve. The first thing; as a gift to a badly mauled, disillusioned, cynical industry should be to put the brakes on this 800 page Part 61 aberration; scale it down to a NZ sensible size (with slight modifications) and have an indaba with industry, to see how best 'we' manage the monster. Mind you, if he can't work it out for himself what, I ask, is the point in hiring the blighter, at great expense to industry? But, my expertise is also valuable. To have me donate it to the DAS cause, he will need to earn my respect in the first instance and convince me; beyond a shadow of doubt, that his heart, mind and soul are dedicated to restoring the industry. Homework before examination is the go, not to rely on cribbing from other folks notes and hard work, that's cheating, dontcha know...

Then initiate every single Senate recommendation – without delay: then initiate every single recommendation the Rev. Forsyth made; fire the top three layers of management, have a no holds barred credit card audit, sort out the despicable MoU and start legal proceedings against those who 'disturbed' the TSI act and humiliated this industry by being involved in the Pel Air debacle – all of them.

Then, after morning tea; we can get down to real issues and clean out the vermin droppings gifted to him from the last residents of the Sleepy Hollow. The LSD needs to be seriously looked at, some of their 'stunts' beggar belief. Which should take us through to lunch. It's not hard; not with the all encompassing executive horsepower, as set up by Aleck (whispering death) to be above the law and all; – that will help steer it through. Save the new boy some time (hint) - get the 'white hats' working; all spoils go to Caesar.

Yup, six phone calls before lunch must be within the competence of the "new" DAS; else why was the 'position' (and the dough) gifted to him?: does his credit card get scrutinised by the "executive" manager of the 440 strong 'corporate' team, or just by the chief financial officer? No matter – all will be well when managing the 'rental agreement' for corporate (self owned) housing and first class seats on multiple flights. Big trough, no wukkers.

I shall pay attention, failure will be easily detected – temptation will not be resisted. The game is rolling, the new boy has entered the arena – it would be better if he hit the ground running (just saying). Probably better to have the Sleepy Hollow worm farm rewired, best do the pot plants as well – just in case.

Bonne chance – "Ave, Imperator, morituri (we, of the IOS) te salutant".

Selah...

Last edited by Kharon; 29th Oct 2014 at 20:04. Reason: Another Senate thread goes past the half Mil reads mark – well done all.
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Old 29th Oct 2014, 20:44   #2332 (permalink)
 
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Kharon, Having dealt with RAAF officers,I am somewhat in agreement with others here that Mr Skidmore will not be the answer to CASA's problems.

Last edited by Eddie Dean; 29th Oct 2014 at 20:54. Reason: seperating steers and heifers
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Old 29th Oct 2014, 21:04   #2333 (permalink)
 
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No shortage of people here rushing to pass judgement on a bloke they know essentially nothing about.

Quote:
We (IOS) will soon see if the new boy has any bollocks, brains, integrity and resolve.
I'd suggest he has all of the above. Whether he can run CASA in a way that makes everyone here happy is another thing altogether - he's probably got more chance of sorting out the Middle East. At least give the bloke a couple of hours in the job before crucifying him.
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Old 29th Oct 2014, 21:29   #2334 (permalink)
 
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I'm certain he has all of the above.

I'm also certain that he doesn't have any real experience in the dark arts of real government. Even if he wanted to, his chances of killing the regulatory reform Frankenstein are therefore nil.

You will be able to tell if I'm right, if his first official comment on the regulatory reform program is to the effect that it is on track to be completed soon.

Last edited by Creampuff; 29th Oct 2014 at 22:14.
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Old 29th Oct 2014, 21:35   #2335 (permalink)
 
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No judgement has been passed, as yet. However the meter is running and we are paying the freight. Running a bunch of people trained and willing to follow orders is a piece of cake. This (as suggested) messiah of the middle east has no 'real life' experience, absolutely none. He will need help and cooperation (lots of) if he is to succeed. As a 'leader of men' he should know the first rule is gain the respect and trust of those he commands. This is not a simple matter of drafting a few orders and standing back to watch the fun – there are careers, millions of dollars (peoples own dollars, not government dollars) invested, often against the mortgage and kids school fees. It matters.

This is real life aviation and with the best will in the world, without him knowing what's at stake and how the system really works – he had better get his skates on, do his homework and surround himself with 'sound' advice. Until I see different, to me it's just another talking head stuffed in the trough, a valid moving target. No one I know is in the mood for another McComic go around or any more plain and fancy pony pooh. He has accepted the job, the meter is running – now he has to knuckle down and get on with it. Industry works hard to pay the inflated salary and trimmings, takes all the legal and fiscal hits and IMO has every right, particularly after the last little episode to carefully and closely scrutinise every stitch in this mans knitting.

We shall see; but first we test, then we trust. I work for a living, lots to do before smoko, best crack on then.

Toot toot.

Last edited by Kharon; 29th Oct 2014 at 22:32. Reason: Bravo Creamy..
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Old 29th Oct 2014, 22:43   #2336 (permalink)
 
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Mrdak v Boyd - 2 card play.

Quote:
Gotta hand it to you Lookleft, an astute post. I hadn't really thought about the "Skidmore vs Fawcett knowledge and experience"side of things
This could indeed be a stroke of genius by MrDak. Very interesting potential twist, having a new DAS that could use that experience and knowledge to challenge the Senators.
Quote:
No contest.

Like McCormick, Skidmore's stuffed. Wouldn't have a clue how to fix regulatory reform, and will be smart enough to pretend it's on track for completion 'soon'.

A lucrative public sector job prior to moving on, and that's it.
Speculation is a wonderful, fascinating past time but the proof (& truth) is always in the pudding..

Time will tell if indeed (reserve active) AVM Skidmore is an M&M plant to foil LC (retired) Senator Fawcett but it is interesting that they both come from a similar pedigree.

However perhaps we should look at this apparent connection (both former ADF & test pilots) from a different perspective and also consider where both these gents went after leaving the ADF..

Mark Skidmore -
Quote:
Director Flight Operations
Raytheon Australia

December 2012 – November 2013 (1 year)Canberra, Australia
Casual position providing specialist aerospace advice in support of flight operations for Raytheon Australia.

{Interesting interview when MS 1st took up the position at Raytheon: Interview with Mark Skidmore - Raytheon Australia's Director of Flight Operations}
Director

Swift Aerospace Consulting

February 2013 – Present (1 year 9 months)Canberra
Swift Aerospace is a small consulting company that provides consulting services to the defence and civil aerospace community. These consulting services are based on the knowledge and experience of the Director who has 33 years service in the Royal Australian Air Force as a pilot and commander of aerospace units and several years in Defence Industry providing airworthiness and flight safety leadership. The primary market foci for Swift Aerospace are the defence aerospace industries that support the ADF and are in need of the skill sets provided by a retired senior member of the RAAF. However, given the scope and experience of the director, his airworthiness and flight safety knowledge is also applicable across the civil aerospace community.
So not much experience in the private sector but at least he wasn't lured to any major airlines and given his lengthy career (33 years) to a high rank in the RAAF he certainly would have had extensive dealings with the PS Mandarins.

Senator Fawcett -
Quote:
Career
David served in the Australian Defence Force for over 22 years. An Army pilot, he flew helicopters and fixed wing aircraft and was the Senior Flying Instructor at the School of Army Aviation in Queensland. Graduating as an experimental test pilot from the Empire Test Pilots’ School (UK), he finished his full time career in Defence as the Commanding Officer of the RAAF Aircraft Research and Development Unit. Elected to the House of Representatives as the Member for Wakefield (SA) in 2004, he served in the Parliament until 2007. David continued to fly as a test pilot and ran a small business working in the Defence and Aviation sectors prior to being elected to the Senate.

Read David’s full biography here.
The part in bold is interesting and there is a further reference from the Phelan - Fawcett Profile :
Quote:
He then attended Navy Command and Staff College before returning to serve as ARDU‘s first (and only) Army Commanding Officer from 2001 to 2003. Fawcett reports that RAAF responded well to him occupying a post that had been more traditionally considered an RAAF appointment:
“As I used to point out to people, it’s really just sort of taking things back to the way they used to be. I think back to my great-uncle Bob Fawcett, who flew with No 1 Squadron of the Australian Flying Corps in 1918, when the Army had all the aircraft, before the Air Force even came into existence.”
If we then go to the same point in time on the MS CV:
Quote:
Commander, Aircraft Research and Development Unit
RAAF

January 2001 – December 2002 (2 years)RAAF Edinburgh, SA
Provide command and leadership for ARDU. ARDU was a diverse organisation of about 400 personnel providing T&E, EW and Range operations.
So it would seem that for at least a year LC (retired) Fawcett was in fact AVM Skidmore's commanding officer - do you think these two gents would never have rubbed shoulders in the occasional operational staff meeting or two??

Finally the following article from the Strategist (which I'm reliably informed is avidly read by most former/current high ranking officers of the ADF) was written by Senator Fawcett back in 2012:
Quote:
Minister, mandarins and the military

Who is really in charge of the Defence Department? Many would guess the military chiefs, which is logical enough. Some would even say the Minister—civil control and all that. Or perhaps, given the recent discussion about the influence of Ministerial advisers over the public service, others would suggest we should be looking to the Secretary—Sir Humprey always did seem to get his way.

Another way to ask the question would be to consider who got the blame when reviews such as Rizzo, Black and Coles highlighted a lack of accountability, confused responsibilities and dysfunctional linkages between levels of authority across the Department? No clear answers there.

There is something even more telling, however, than the inability to identify who is really in charge of Defence. How is it that so many commentators can describe what has gone wrong, but so few ask why, or attempt to suggest a better way? It’s said that a fish rots from the head. If we accept that organisational dysfunction stems from problems at the head of Defence, perhaps that’s where we need to start—at the top. But just what is the relationship between executive Government and the Department?

Distant could be one way to describe the relationship. The Defence Minister sits on one side of Lake Burley Griffin and the Department on the other—literally and figuratively. Even those Ministers who choose to engage with Defence in a more proactive way don’t actually get much formal insight into ‘the process’ that leads to the briefs they receive. For example, how much ‘re-drafting’ by the many layers of review has the brief received in the time between leaving the subject matter expert and being delivered to the Minister? Does the brief still say the same thing, or have the priorities and agendas of other groups (or the central agencies) transformed the message? The Minister would seldom know, because Defence has a policy to ‘speak with one voice’, which limits the ability of the Minister to hear dissenting views where they exist.

On the other side of the equation, the brief the Minister takes to the National Security Committee of Cabinet (NSCC) may not actually reflect recommendations made by Defence. Think of the Super Hornet acquisition by Minister Nelson, a decision made without the recommendation of Defence. While the Minister was happy to own that particular decision, not all such Ministerial interventions are quite so transparent. The point is that accountability has to flow both ways in a functional relationship. Changes to submissions instigated by the Minister, or by Ministerial advisers, should always be formally captured in an auditable process. The Government also needs to be aware of the true opportunity cost of decisions it makes. Decisions to approve additional operational commitments or even to defer an acquisition have flow-on effects for planned training, maintenance activities, logistics contracts, personnel and defence industry.

Is there a better way? Certainly most successful public, not-for-profit, and even private companies seem to think so. Most of them adopt the construct of a governing board. This provides a proven framework for structured engagement between key elected stakeholders (directors) and the executives who have operational control. Through the board, the Chair is able to provide strategic guidance to the organisation, and hold executives to account for performance, and compliance with relevant regulations. The board doesn’t run the organisation on a day-to-day basis, but it has insight into the internal and external environments that shape the CEO’s challenges and decisions. Some private companies also choose to have a board of reference, which provides a structured means of retaining corporate memory, as well as obtaining a broader perspective on current issues and strategic direction.

The 2011 review by Lord Levene (PDF) for the UK Ministry of Defence confirmed that the model of a board can work for Defence. The Secretary of State (Minister) chairs the Board and is advised by the Chief of Defence Staff, the Permanent Secretary, the Procurement Executive, as well as non-executive directors who bring broader perspective and experience to the table.

In the Australian context, a Defence Board wouldn’t replace the role of the NSCC. The Board would provide a structured, regular forum for the Minister to engage with, and be informed by, a range of voices within Defence. It would enable him to be a more effective decision maker when dealing with the Department, and speak with more confidence and authority in NSCC when advocating for the Department.

For the Board concept to be effective in Australia, we’d need to redefine the roles of some senior appointments. This would include empowering the Service Chiefs to have command and control over all the resources they need to do their job—a pre-requisite for accountability to the Minister as Chair of the Board. A consequence of the increased control for the Service Chiefs would be a corresponding decrease in the number of groups within the Defence Organisation. This would be balanced by making the Secretary responsible for overseeing compliance both with strategic guidance and with policies relevant to achieving best-practice in non-operational matters across the three services. The Minister would then be in a position to make informed decisions on what should be done, to hold Service Chiefs accountable for subsequent outcomes, and to judge their efficacy in the task. Where exigencies require changes, trade-offs or exceptions to guidance, the Board provides a framework for these issues and the related flow-on effects to be assessed, debated and implementation coordinated.

The structured framework of the Board would also provide some degree of quality assurance for the taxpayer when the personalities, interests, or competence of the Chief of Defence Force (CDF), Secretary and Minister did not align as well as we might hope or expect. To return the rotting fish analogy, the Defence Board and the associated changes in senior roles would see the head of the organisation model the approach that must be adopted at all levels within Defence: informed decisions by accountable individuals.

The Defence Board in and of itself would not be a silver bullet to address the oft-lamented failures in the Defence Organisation. It is, however, the right place to start fixing the rot—at the heady interface of Minister, Mandarins and Military.

Senator David Fawcett is a Liberal Party representative for South Australia. He was a member of the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade enquiry into Defence Acquisition. His additional comments to the report (PDF) argue that the changes to Governance discussed above are just one aspect of the suite of reforms to the Australian Defence Organisation required to achieve effective and sustainable change. Image courtesy of Department of Defence.
Then there was this article back in the July edition of AA magazine: A turning point-The Aviation Safety Regulatory Review

Maybe the AVM (active reserve) Skidmore appointment is a master stroke by M&M, however I think he should be careful of the Boyd (Fawcett) 2 card play...

MTF...

Last edited by Sarcs; 29th Oct 2014 at 22:55.
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Old 29th Oct 2014, 23:10   #2337 (permalink)
 
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This DAS will get a short probation period. The last lot spoilt it for the future. He has enough time before he takes up the role to get across it, and he needs to do something akin to Kharon's suggestions or he will drop the grenade.


Then it'll be...."he'd like to find the Sergeant who forgot to hook him up, 'cause he ain't gonna jump no more". Strawberry jam etc....

Last edited by Frank Arouet; 29th Oct 2014 at 23:10. Reason: Whistle if you don't know the words.
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Old 30th Oct 2014, 07:59   #2338 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
ARDU‘s first (and only) Army Commanding Officer from 2001 to 2003.

January 2001 – December 2002 (2 years)RAAF Edinburgh, SA
They can't both have been the CO of ARDU Sarcs! As both articles allude to though Army pilots and RAAF pilots don't generally have much regard for each other.

Last edited by Lookleft; 30th Oct 2014 at 10:46. Reason: If you are a fool post only "Wind up alert!"
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Old 30th Oct 2014, 09:29   #2339 (permalink)
 
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Wind up alert!
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Old 30th Oct 2014, 09:33   #2340 (permalink)
 
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Stand corrected Lefty DF was apparently CO after Skidmore in 2003: Aircraft Research and Development Unit RAAF

MTF...

Last edited by Sarcs; 30th Oct 2014 at 14:39. Reason: Corrected for TO..thanks!
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