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Boeing hires more apprentices for Super Hornets, Growlers

written by Robert Dougherty | September 13, 2023

Boeing Defence Australia (BDA) has announced the single, largest intake to the company’s trades workforce, welcoming eight new apprentices.

The apprentices, who have graduated from Aviation Australia’s (AA) 80-day Certificate II in Aircraft Line Maintenance, will join BDA’s F/A-18F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler maintenance program at RAAF Base Amberley.

Mike Prior, BDA director of product support, training and maintenance, welcomed the new team members, saying, “As the sustainment provider for the most Australian Defence Force (ADF) platforms, we’re building a stronger sovereign trades workforce to support fleet upgrades, increased fleet sizes, and the introduction of the Apache.”

This latest intake of apprentices brings the company’s apprentice numbers across all of Boeing Australia to 44.


“Through this investment in apprentices and our longstanding partnership with AA, we’ll have the right people with the right qualifications ready to ensure mission readiness for the ADF,” Prior added.

Graduate Daniel Gaskin spent 12 years in automotive mechanics before being accepted into the apprentice program.

“This opportunity has allowed me to meld my mechanical background with a genuine interest in aircraft mechanics and engineering. I’m immensely proud to now be part of Boeing and excited to work on fighter jets for a global aircraft manufacturer.”

Today, the RAAF has 24 Super Hornets and 11 Growlers, which have also participated in Exercise Pitch Black in the Northern Territory and Exercise Bersama Shield on the Malaysian Peninsula.

Australia originally bought the Super Hornet to act as a stopgap between the retirement of the RAAF’s Classic Hornets and the delayed arrival of their true successor, the fifth-generation F-35.

Both models are operated out of RAAF Base Amberley in Queensland after arriving in 2010 and achieved final operational capability in 2012.

The US Navy has a fleet of more than 600 Super Hornets, and the aircraft were flown in Top Gun: Maverick.

Australian Aviation reported last week how the RAAF released in-cockpit footage showing one of its Super Hornets clocking 8Gs as it soars over Surfers Paradise.

The video was taken from a display at the Gold Coast Pacific Airshow last month and has already clocked up more than 300,000 views.

You can watch it in full below.

The Pacific Airshow Gold Coast was created by the team behind the Pacific Airshow at Huntington Beach, California and attracted around 200,000–300,000 total attendees.

Speaking to The Gold Coast Bulletin, Pacific Airshow CEO Kevin Elliott said that starting in 2024, the event – which occupied roughly 1km of beachfront this year – could widen its footprint on the beach, add VIP areas, expand deeper into the streets, and add “double-storey hospitality”.

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