Photo: Synthetic training devices such as this cockpit procedural trainer are key to developing pilot candidate skills. Photo supplied by OWEN ZUPP.

Systematiq’s Training Systems Team takes Australian Defence Force Pilot trainees to new heights.

Systematiq provides assistance on the ATACSPO / Nova Air5428 – Pilot Training System.

In 2013 the Commonwealth of Australia (CoA) made a $320M commitment to breathe new life into the Australian Defence Force (ADF) pilot training through the Air 5428 Pilot Training Program and thus expand Australia’s Air capability. Managed by Nova, the program brought together a high-calibre team: Lockheed Martin (LM) for provision of the training system, Pilatus for the training fleet of PC-21 planes and Hawker Pacific for maintenance and support. The architectural design of the new sleek and ergonomic training and support facilities at Pearce, East Sale, Gin Gin and Edinburgh Airforce bases was awarded to a leading international engineering firm, HDR, Inc.

The Pilot Training System Developed by LM was to become integral to the next 25 years of training for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), Royal Australian Navy and the Australian Army pilots. Commanding a greater fleet of new manned and unmanned craft, the pilot training graduates would need to be capable of ‘flying the mission’ in a networked environment in the context of the multi-national Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program.

The CoA required a truly engaging and integrated training solution, tailored for future pilots and new aircraft. Following the release of the first edition, a CoA review had flagged to LM and Nova the need for optimising the Learning Management Packages (LMPs) further. Nova required an experienced Learning and Development consultant with extensive knowledge in the field of Air Force training.

Previous relationships pave the way for successful project delivery

The value of success through previous engagements goes a long way. Nova had partnered with Systematiq for delivery of previous projects, including Land 907 Phase 2, for provision of Project Support; Land 19 Phase 7B for Integrated Logistics Support as well as Air Training Publication and Procurement Support. Having an internal Training and Development team, Systematiq had put forward a candidate, who not only had decades of experience creating, evaluating and optimising training programs, but had also spent a number of years in the RAAF. 

Systematiq’s Samantha (Sam) Goodman had previously provided training support and evaluation for a Defence Command Support Training Centre (DCSTC) program for design of a framework for online mentor / facilitator courses.

“It was good to be back working in blue,” Sam said, “alongside many that I had known since I was in the Permanent and Active Reserve Air Force. In this role as a contractor, relationships are everything.”

With a personal recommendation from a previous RAAF colleague, she set out to remediate the Pilot Training System. Her initial scope, as a courseware and project manager, was to ensure the areas of concern identified by the reviewers were effectively remediated by LM in order for the new curriculum to be declared fit for purpose by CoA.

Experience adds value in determining the best outcome

But nothing is as certain as change. After a brief assessment of the courseware, Sam realised there was a lot more she could do, to ensure better training quality and therefore greater safety of Australia’s future pilots.

“From Day 1 on the project, I knew this was going to expand to be more than the client had intended,” Sam said.

Some of the areas of the Pilot Training System were not covered by the initial evaluation but were just as crucial for the Program’s success. Sam conducted an investigation into the LMPs and in particular, the assessments. Having delivered the findings to CASG and RAAF and getting the “clear for take-off” on remedial actions, she joined forces with FLTLT Guy Hall, for his expertise. Through this collaboration and effective stakeholder management, Sam was able to ensure that the assessments being utilised were accurate and met the requirements of the LM course.

The project was able to move from acquisition to sustainment: this marked the Pilot Training System being accepted by CoA. Using a multitude of technology-based study approaches and engaging on-site as well as remote training modules, the Training System received great reviews. As did Sam herself.

FLTLT George Murtagh, the Air 5428 Project Engineer, wrote the following relating the delivery of the task: “This job entailed the drawing together of competing priorities and organisational restraints to deliver a Learning Management Plan that meets ADF needs.” He complimented Sam on the “Provision of an exemplary outcome through vast experience and dedication to the task.”

“I recommend Sam for future Defence projects, as her past experience as a TSO within Defence, enabled her to smoothly integrate into the organisation with minimum fuss and start providing high quality product.” Quoted FLTLT George Murtagh

For Sam, it was another invaluable opportunity to add to her experience, “Being able to demonstrate the broad skills that Systematiq consultants have was fantastic.” she recalled on project completion.

Our people are key to your success

For Systematiq, people are our greatest asset. Whether it is a long-term capability partner, representative of the Commonwealth, a new client, or team member. The values applied to all are the same: trust, adult, reliability and responsiveness. These values underpin the company’s dedication to all our projects and partners.

Engage with Systematiq for your next Training Services project. Get in touch with our Business Development Managers to discuss your project requirements and keep you moving forward.