Regional Maintenance Centre (RMC) North East celebrated one year of operations in early March, with the new Head Maritime Sustainment Rear Admiral Steven Tiffen spending time with the Cairns-based workforce.
Rear Admiral Tiffen also conducted the inaugural Plan Galileo Roadshow in Cairns, speaking to the Commonwealth workforce and local industry in the region and providing an update on the realisation of Plan Galileo, including the establishment of the RMC network.
The RMC network is a key element of the Maritime Sustainment Model, which is being implemented to realise the necessary Sustainment 2025 Capability.
RMCs are strategically located sustainment centres with an integrated Defence and industry workforce able to conduct a level of maintenance on all ships and boats in the Navy’s fleet, so the fleet is available where and when it is needed.
“Seeing the first of our RMCs have such a successful first year is gratifying and demonstrates the hard work of our Defence staff and industry partners,” Rear Admiral Tiffen said.
“The success lies in the strong collaboration between our local Commonwealth team and our industry partner NORSTA Maritime.”
The contract with NORSTA Maritime to perform the role of regional maintenance provider is valued at $70 million over an initial five years.
A key focus of the provider’s role is building the local and regional supply chain.
Rear Admiral Tiffen said as a result of this partnership, RMC North East now has more than 250 local small and medium enterprises in the supply chain network.
“These local partnerships are helping us deliver some of the key outcomes of Plan Galileo, such as building local and regional industry capability as well as providing upskilling and training opportunities for our people,” Rear Admiral Tiffen said.
Secondment opportunities for Fleet Support Unit sailors have been established with local companies Pasma Electrical, Perrotts Engineering and Alphacool.
In addition, a five-year regional work plan is being developed, further strengthening Defence’s industry ties in Cairns.
This also provides businesses with a longer-term view of upcoming maintenance requirements allowing them to forecast, plan and invest for future growth.