Home' Army News : December 10th 2009 Contents Reputation & ResultsTM
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Specialists in military compensation
Army December 10, 2009
SOLDIERS will now be able to bid
for and choose the type of amenities
support they require after the Army
Amenities Fund (AAF) Company
decided on a new direction.
After a detailed review of the compa-
ny's services, the board agreed to divest
itself of unprofitable holiday accommo-
dation and focus instead on a broader
range of amenity support to a greater
percentage of the Army community.
These significant changes mean more
variety in the type of amenities and a
flexible approach to how they will be
AAF Company Chairman Brig Gerard
Fogarty said for many years the com-
pany had focused on low-cost holiday
accommodation across the country but
the review identified that only 3 per cent
of members used this amenity.
"We want to encourage more mem-
bers to use the company-owned accom-
modation and increase access to different
types of amenities," Brig Fogarty said.
"From 2010, units and associations
will be able to bid on a quarterly basis
for resources from the company to fund
local amenity initiatives not available
through departmental expense."
Personnel can submit bids through
their chain of command by using a form
on the AAF Company website.
For further information visit http://www.army-
holidays.com.au/ or http://intranet.defence.gov.
By Sgt Andrew Hetherington
"WHAT we have in the MRH 90
are the latest and best operating
systems we can get for military
Maj Richard Garvey, pilot and
senior instructor of MRH 90 pilot
training, used these words to
describe the aircraft after his flying
visit to Russell Offices on November
27. The visit gave senior ADF per-
sonnel and the public a closer look
at the aircraft that will revolutionise
Army and Navy aviation from 2010.
"In comparison to the Black
Hawk its control responses are
very similar, but the advantage the
MRH 90 has over it is its systems,"
Nine pilots are already quali-
fied, four are partially qualified and
four more are in training on the third
Australian-based course run by an
AAvnTC detachment from Oakey at
5 Avn Regt in Townsville.
A new standout feature of the air-
craft is the TopOwl Helmet Mounted
Sight Display, which allows pilots
to fully use night vision, a forward
looking infrared (FLIR) camera and
a heads-up display. Use of this tech-
nology, incorporated into the clear
visor of the helmet, reduces the time
pilots need to look down to view
Maj Garvey said his favourite
aspect of the aircraft was the FLIR
"It's the next step up from flying
an aircraft at night using NVGs. It
allows you to fly in environmental
conditions you wouldn't be able to
on NVGs," he said.
The aircraft also has a weather
radar, which used with the FLIR
camera, NVGs and a digital map
generator, allows crews to operate in
worse weather conditions than what
they could with the Black Hawk.
Successful maritime trials were
conducted on HMAS Manoora
off the coast of Tasmania during
October and November.
"From talking to the aircrew, it
was found to be much more stable
and easier to handle [than the Sea
Hawk and Black Hawk], due to the
stiffer undercarriage and wider track
between the two main wheels," he
"The end result was the aircraft
was more comfortable to fly and
much more stable on deck when the
ship pitched and rolled."
The first of the 46 aircraft are
expected to enter service with Navy
in the middle of 2010 and with
Army later in the year.
go for helo
Dropping in: The MRH 90 after landing at Russell (above).
Cfn Brodie Kemp works on the same MRH 90 which visited
Russell, aboard HMAS Manoora in late October (inset).
Photos by Kevin Piggott and LAC Christopher Dickson.
THE Group Rent Scheme (GRS)
will be updated in April 2010 to
keep pace with the Australian rental
Director Housing and Removal
Policy Robert McKellar said the
changes would help Defence achieve
a long-standing policy to subsidise 50
per cent of the national cost of mem-
bers' rent. Defence currently subsidis-
es more than the intended 50 per cent.
The amount of the 2010 member
contributions adjustment is not yet
known. This will be calculated once
the rent paid by Defence for service
housing is adjusted in January.
Mr McKellar said bringing the
GRS adjustment forward to April
would complete the program and
move it closer to the time when the
rent was adjusted every year.
Under this program, adjustments
moved from November 2007 to July
this year. From 2010, adjustments to
GRS contributions will occur annually
Mr McKellar said Defence pro-
vided a minimum six weeks' notice of
GRS adjustments. The amount and
exact timing of the next GRS adjust-
ment will be provided in February via
an all-units message and a Defgram.
Information on housing assistance is available
on the Defence pay and conditions website at
www.defence.gov.au/dpe/pac/; or the Defence
Families Australia website at www.dfa.org.au.
Rental scheme update
Funds up for bid
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