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What role does the supply chain play in military missions?

New Chinook aircraft could soon be on the way for Australia, supplementing the current fleet."

In a defence mission, there are various factors that play a key role. For air force endeavours, the supply chain is particularly important to ensuring missions are carried out successfully. 

The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) relies on a reliable supply chain that is capable of organising aircraft and personnel across long term missions. Air operations require equipment and military personnel to be coordinated effectively to keep operations running effectively.

Importance of supply chain in military missions

"Without the supply of these munitions we would not be able to fulfil our role as part of the coalition disrupting and degrading Daesh."

This level of coordination could not be achieved without a robust supply chain team. Based in the Middle East region, an intertwined logistics cell is made up of Combat Support Unit (CSU) personnel deployed on Operation Accordion and Air Task Group (ATG) personnel deployed on Operation Okra.

As reported on in an earlier post, Operation Okra is Australia's response to the efforts to combat Daesh, with permission from the Iraqi Prime Minister and government. Operation Accordion, on the other hand, is aimed at supporting Australian defence initiatives in the region, fostering regional relationships and ensuring contingency plans can be undertaken if need be.

According to the Australian Defence Force (ADF) these cells supply anything that either mission may require, including precision guided munitions.

One of the Air Task Group (ATG) F/A-18A Hornet pilots, Squadron Leader Jason notes the significance of these guided weapons as a way of reducing causalities. 

"Operation Okra has seen the RAAF use the most munitions since the Vietnam War over four decades ago," says Squadron Leader Jason. 

"Without the supply of these munitions we would not be able to fulfil our role as part of the coalition disrupting and degrading Daesh."

Successful military activities require a high level of support.Successful military activities require a high level of support.

Australia's supply chain is high priority for defence

In the year following the launch of Operation Okra, the ATG has placed more than 100 high priority requests to the supply chain.

To complete these demands, a high level of coordination is required. The supplies must be ordered, coordinated between the defence base in Australia and then delivered to the Middle East before being reaching the recipient.

The Department of Defence notes a total supply chain time for aircraft demands is two weeks, with an extremely low average of seven days. 

The effectiveness of the supply chain allows the ATG to successfully complete missions as the efficient delivery of key equipment is paramount to their goals.

"If there was no supply, nothing would get done and there would be no army," notes Australian Army Supply Chain Specialist Vanessa Pericich. 

"Whether it's food, fuel, weapons, ammunition, explosives; we get it to them, where ever they are."

The efficiency of the supply chain reflects the significance of ensuring military personnel are well-equipped and supported to complete missions such as Operation Okra. 

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 FREE.

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