About the Job
Motor Mechanics can be equated to civilian Motor Mechanics; but that's where the similarity ends. As a Motor Mechanic you are not just involved in the maintenance of motor vehicles, but also aircraft ground support systems, aircraft arrester systems, materials handling equipment (forklifts/aircraft loaders), refuelling vehicles and equipment, diagnosis and rectification of faults in mechanical, electrical and hydraulic systems and the testing and servicing of ground support equipment, workshop plant and machinery. Motor Mechanics are also responsible for the operation of the ground and aviation fuel installations.
After gaining some experience in the GSE world, tradesmen will be required to attend our tailored electrical/electronic training. Motor Mechanics continue to do the duties of a Motor Mechanic but are also responsible for the maintenance of ground support equipment electrical systems, ground radar mechanical installations and refrigeration/air-conditioning systems. The additional training will enable this.
Post-graduate training is available on a number of specialist systems including Aircraft Arrester Systems, Fuel Installations and Fuel Quality Control.
Working Conditions. The working environment for GSE personnel varies according to the equipment being used and the area of operations. Areas of operations may include workshops (MEOMS), Force Element Groups (FEGS) supporting Squadron activities, Headquarter (HQ) Units, training establishments, and field deployments within Australia and overseas. Generally, work is performed in workshops that offer protection from adverse environmental conditions and provide the relevant support equipment necessary to accomplish a particular task (hoists, power/air tools, etc). However, due to the inherent nature of the mustering, combined with the unique nature of the Defence role, GSE personnel may, on occasion, find themselves exposed to various uncomfortable working situations. Such situations can include; working outdoors, inclement weather, working at heights, cramped or awkward working positions, confined working spaces, poor light conditions, dirt, grease, noise, vibration, and fumes emitted from aircraft and vehicles.
Hazards. Inherent hazards exist associated with employment in the GSE environment that are a potential source for personal injury. Such injuries could range from minor cuts to serious injuries inflicted by machinery, plant and equipment, skin and/or eye damage from chemicals, fuels and lubricants, electrical shocks and burning or scalding.
Training in Safe Working Practices, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) are provided to afford protection and guidance for personnel working in hazardous areas.
Physical Effort. The use of tools normally associated with the trade will usually be encountered on a daily basis. On occasions, heavy and awkward objects must be manoeuvred in and around confined spaces; therefore, a high level of physical co-ordination and manual dexterity is essential. Overall, a high level of accuracy and speed of movement is required in most tasks, particularly when operating machinery or machine tools.
Contact with Others. Continual contact with Service and civilian personnel is encountered in this trade. Normal communication and co-operation skills are required to avoid workplace friction and to maintain effective working relations. Additionally, Defence maintains a defined rank structure in order to maintain discipline and provide managerial oversight. Therefore, protocols are in-place that need to be understood and respected.
Trade Criticality. The duties of a Ground Support Equipment tradesperson are critical to the operational effectiveness of the RAAF as a number of items maintained by GSE personnel interface directly with aircraft. The trade performs a critical role in exercising judgement to ensure continued integrity of vehicles and Ground Support Equipment and so, by extension, the integrity of Defence aircraft.
Handling of Classified Documents and Equipment. During the course of their duties, Ground Support Equipment trades people may be required to handle classified documents and equipment.