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Bolstering Australian aircraft security

Minister for Defence David Johnston recently witnessed the air-to-air refuelling of F/A-18 aircraft."

Critical to the smooth operations of any air force are a number of supporting supply chains and logistical operations, in many cases located across the globe.

For the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), for example, there are the primary air bases located in Australia, along with allied facilities in multiple nations and operating bases in areas of conflict. Recently, thanks to a new deployment, aircraft security has taken another step forward.

A first enduring deployment

Recently, the Australian Department of Defence announced that Air Force Security (AFSEC) personnel had completed their first enduring deployment in the Middle East. It's an exciting milestone, and a big leap for the Security Forces operations currently utilised within the Air Force.

These personnel play an important role in the air force support operations, protecting aircraft, crew, passengers and even cargo. This isn't just on the ground, either. Personnel also accompany the aircraft when they're transiting between areas of operations. Most recently, these have been areas like Afghanistan and Iraq.

"The AFSEC members join with our Airfield Defence Guards and Air Force Police personnel to make a complete security package," explained Officer in Charge of the current Force Protection Flight for the Middle East Combat Support Unit, Flight Lieutenant Jason Gillon.

Protecting air assets is extremely important.Protecting air assets is extremely important.

"The Airfield Defence Guards bring a war-fighter capability to the protection of people and assets in potentially hostile situations, while the Air Force police have excellent skills for managing and de-escalating situations."

They bring an important set of skills to the Air Force - skills that are certainly needed given the often unstable conditions in which Australian aircraft operate. There's no denying that having these staff on board a plane or waiting at a base brings additional peace of mind.

How other nations protect critical air assets

In New Zealand, the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) operates a similar agency, named Force Protection. These personnel conduct routine security patrols and carry out activities in much the same way as their Australian counterparts. The US also has the United States Air Force Security Forces to carry out many of the similar operations.

AFSEC personnel are going to continue to prove useful over the next few years, especially as Australia continues to carry out operations in unstable parts of the world.

Interconnect Systems has a comprehensive background in aerospace and defence engineering, being an industry leader for more than 20 years. It provides electrical interconnect products and solutions, including cable and wire harness manufacture. For more information on the best backshells and cable harness solutions, contact Interconnect Systems today on 1800 812 214.

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