Air Commodore John Oddie AM, CSC, Commander RAAF
Air Lift Group and Dr Jens Goennemann CEO Australian
Aerospace at the Caribou Deeper Maintenance Farewell
An important chapter in the history of the development of Australia’s defence aerospace industry closed today with the farewell of the last DHC-4 Caribou transport aircraft from Australian Aerospace Limited’s Deeper Maintenance Workshop on Brisbane Airport.
This DeHavilland Canada DHC-4, serial A4-140, is one of a fleet of 29 Caribou to serve with the Australian military over the past 45 years, and is scheduled to spend retirement as a permanent display at the RAAF Museum at Point Cook. The aircraft is a veteran of three years service in the Vietnam War, from 1968 to 1971.
Now reduced to 13 aircraft, the remaining Caribou fleet is set to retire from active service in December 2009.
The Royal Australian Air Force’s Light Tactical Transport aircraft, the Caribou has been in service with the Australian Defence Force (ADF) since 1964. Australian Aerospace and its predecessor organisations have provided Deeper Maintenance and Through-Life-Support for the Caribou fleet since the aircraft entered service with the RAAF. Support functions include maintenance, engineering and comprehensive logistics for the platform.
Air Commodore John Oddie AM, CSC, Commander RAAF Air Lift Group visited Australian Aerospace to thank the staff for their continued support. “Today marks the end of a very successful Deeper Maintenance Program. The partnership between the Air Lift Systems Program Office (ALSPO) and Australian Aerospace has been a demonstrative success for over 40 years.
“ALSPO is appreciative of the support Australian Aerospace has provided over this extended period. The company has responded rapidly and effectively to numerous fleet wide challenges” Air Commodore Oddie said.
The Caribou Deeper Maintenance Program cements Australian Aerospace’s long and proven track record providing Deeper Maintenance, Engineering and Through Life Support programs to the military, including the RAAF’s fleets of Orion AP-3C reconnaissance aircraft, C-130J Hercules transports and soon-to-be delivered Airbus A330-based Multi-Role Tanker-Transports.
Dr Jens Goennemann, CEO Australian Aerospace spoke of the company’s long standing tradition of providing a quality service to the ADF. “Australian Aerospace has worked with the Australian Defence Force on the Caribou since they were first introduced around the time of the Vietnam War. Our commitment to provide support to Australia’s defence capability has strengthened our track record of offering first class dependable solutions, Dr Goennemann said.
The ADF intends to provide a number of retired aircraft to museums across Australia.