Australia — DEFCOMMSTA’s ‘Silent Service’

Defence Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Sta­tion (DEFCOMMSTA) Perth will expand its respon­si­bil­i­ties this year when SUBCOMMCEN relo­cates from HQJOC at Bun­gen­dore to HMAS Stir­ling as part of a Chief of Navy ini­tia­tive from the desired out­comes of the Mof­fitt Review reten­tion and recruit­ing of sub­mariners.

Lead­ing Sea­man Elec­tron­ics Tech­ni­cian Christo­pher Thomp­son works at one of the com­put­ers in DEFCOMMSTA Perth, at HMAS Stir­ling in West­ern Aus­tralia.
Source: Aus­tralian Depart­ment of Defence
Click to enlarge

WO Andrew Bertoncin, OIC DEFCOMMSTA, said SUBCOMMCEN would relo­cate to Stir­ling at the end of the year, which is ‘music to the ears of the 12 sub­mariner com­mu­ni­ca­tors cur­rent­ly in Canberra’. 

“The relo­ca­tion of SUBCOMMCEN to DEFCOMMSTA will keep the major­i­ty of the sub­ma­rine CIS com­mu­ni­ty togeth­er with their fam­i­lies at Stir­ling,” he said. 

WO Bertoncin said the project to house the SUBCOMMCEN in the DEFCOMMSTA facil­i­ty would allow sub­mariner com­mu­ni­ca­tors the oppor­tu­ni­ty to sup­port sub­mariners at sea while remain­ing in the West. It also places a sig­nif­i­cant amount of respon­si­bil­i­ty for the sup­port of Sub­marines into CIOG which cur­rent­ly com­mands and man­ages DEFCOMMSTA Perth through the use of ADF uni­form com­mu­ni­ca­tors as its pri­ma­ry workforce. 

“The capa­bil­i­ty is not a lot dif­fer­ent to how we have been doing things but there is a bit of ‘smart’ think­ing around some new process.” 

LSCISSM Luke Fry said the project will have some impact on his respon­si­bil­i­ties as a SUBCOMMCEN supervisor. 

“The relo­ca­tion of SUBCOMMCEN from HQJOC to DEFCOMMASTA will have sig­nif­i­cant man­age­ment and per­son­nel sus­tain­ment ben­e­fits,” he said. 

LSCISSM Fry said that the silent nature of sub­marines relies on the guar­an­tee deliv­ery sys­tem that is pro­vid­ed through the Sub­ma­rine Fleet Broad­casts that is pro­vid­ed through the SUBCOMMCEN

He said their tem­po was ramp­ing up since three Collins Class sub­marines recent­ly came on-line, “which will pro­vide a range of inter­est­ing and excit­ing challenges.” 

WO Bertoncin said the mis­sion of DEFCOMMSTA Perth has always been to pro­vide 24/7 tac­ti­cal sup­port in com­mu­ni­ca­tions to the deployed Navy and ADF units. 

“At the strate­gic lev­el we sup­port mer­cury sig­nal users but our pri­ma­ry role is to keep the infor­ma­tion flow­ing to the Fleet and oth­er ADF units,” he said. 

DEFCOMMSTA Perth cur­rent­ly has a staff of 86 per­son­nel, who are most­ly Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Infor­ma­tion Sys­tem (CIS) sailors and Elec­tron­ics Tech­ni­cians (ETs), who oper­ate and main­tain the capa­bil­i­ty 24/7.

Press release
Min­is­te­r­i­al Sup­port and Pub­lic Affairs,
Depart­ment of Defence,
Can­ber­ra, Australia 

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