Home' Defence Magazine : Issue 3 2009 Contents Air Lift Group - the body responsible for supplying
military fixed-wing transport for the Australian
Defence Force - operates worldwide.
As of 2010, it will be in command of 38 aircraft,
covering a range of capabilities; from evacuated
injured personnel from rough airstrips to transporting
masses of cargo and offloading tonnes of fuel to
another aircraft midflight.
Often, this means crossing international
boundaries, maintaining tight schedules to meet crew
duty deadlines, all the while respecting airframe limits.
The responsibility for making sure these demands
line up belongs to Air Mobility Control Centre (AMCC).
Located at RAAF Base Richmond, AMCC was
formed in October 2005 from the Operations Cells of
the RAAF’s two air lift Wings - Nos. 84 and 86 Wing.
It falls under command of HQ Air Lift Group, but
acts under control of the Air Operations Centre (in
Canberra) at Joint Operations Command.
Made up of different cells including Plans,
Operations, Mission Support, Air Load Coordination
and VIP Operations, its role is to schedule and support
mission management of airlift and air-to-air refuelling
for the Air Force.
The AMCC is commanded by Group Captain
Peter Wood, Officer Commanding of No. 84 Wing,
as Director AMCC (DAMCC). He is assisted by Wing
Commander David Howard - Deputy Director AMCC -
to oversee day-to-day operation of the AMCC.
AMCC is the authorised agency to generate,
approve, and issue Mission Orders for airlift units,
and is responsible for the effective application of
available ADF airlift and air-to-air refuelling through
the planning, organisation, control and monitoring of
air lift and refuelling missions.
This responsibility includes supporting ALG
missions underway and optimal utilisation of available
ADF cargo and passenger capacity.
The majority of AMCC’s tasking is focused on ADF
efforts at home and operating to overseas destinations
for operations and exercises.
Air Lift assets assigned to an operation - such
as those in the Middle East Area of Operations -
do not fall under AMCC control, but rather local
Worldly operators: the Air
Mobility control centre
hen Defence receives
a request for urgent
Air Mobility support for
tasks such as search
and rescue, it is the Air
Mobility control centre
who gets the Royal Australian Air
force’s Air Lift Group airborne.
Operating nationally and internationally,
the Air Mobility Control Centre (AMCC)
coordinate and manage tasking requests
to Air Lift Group (ALG). With primary
responsibility for providing aeromedical
evacuations, air-to-air refueling, airborne
operations, air logistics support, joint
personnel rescue and national support
commitments, ALG also undertake operations
in support of the civil community and other
Director Air Mobility Control Centre Group
Captain Peter Wood said the role was a
“Air Lift tasking by its very nature is
dynamic. It’s a challenging role where
situations change rapidly,” GPCAPT Wood said.
The AMCC controls about 3500 missions
a year, and each day directly tasks and
controls the C-130, C-17 and Caribou fleet of
aircraft, and provide planning, organisation,
control and monitoring support to air lift and
(when the KC-30A comes into service) aerial
In the past 12 months, the AMCC
has managed a variety of interesting and
challenging air lift missions in support of
Defence operations both nationally and
internationally. This includes a vital role
in the Middle East by transporting cargo
and personnel, repatriating the remains of
Australian soldiers killed in Afghanistan and
providing support to critical military exercises.
While the majority of AMCC’s tasking is
focussed on supporting Defence operations
and exercises, it also provides humanitarian
assistance. Earlier last year, as part of
Operation Nargis Assist, an ALG C-17A
Globemaster transported two United Nations
helicopters to Thailand to help cyclone-
affected Burma. More recently the AMCC
controlled ALG aircraft providing assistance
to the North Queensland floods.
GPCAPT Wood said providing centralised
control of the ALG capability was a balancing act.
“Because we have a limited air lift fleet,
it can be a juggle to provide the most efficient
and effective response to operations and
other requests; and individual air lift missions
can take between half a day to several weeks
to complete,” GPCAPT Wood said.
In February this year the AMCC deployed
two C-130 Hercules aircraft to the United
States for Exercise Red Flag, conducted over
the deserts of Nevada. Exercise Red Flag
is the highest level of air combat training in
the most realistic simulated war scenario,
and was conducted at a multi national level
involving the United States, United Kingdom,
Canada and Australia.
“Two of our Hercules were involved in
air combat air lift missions into the Exercise
area, evading ‘enemy’ fighters and landing on
semi-prepared airstrips in both day and night
situations,” GPCAPT Wood said.
“This exercise provides important training
for our ALG pilots who need to be skilled at
landing their aircraft on a variety of surfaces
including unsealed and rough airstrips in
GPCAPT Wood said he enjoyed working
with the AMCC describing his job as very
“The AMCC is a really interesting area to
be involved with as it fulfils a very important
function providing centralised control of
ALG assets to complete missions of vital
importance in support of both ADF capability
and broader national and community
interests,” GPCAPT Wood said.
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