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Staff Spotlight: Scott Presneill

Scott Presneill

Welcome to our series of staff spotlights, where we celebrate the individuals who have made invaluable contributions to our company over the past 20 years.

Today, we’re excited to feature Scott Presneill, whose impressive journey with PAC, beginning in 2009, showcases his remarkable dedication and expertise, from developing the Super Hornet mission planning capability to advancing the KC-30A mission systems, all while earning recognition for his professionalism and contributing significantly to PAC’s growth and reputation as a leading service provider.

I started with PAC back in Aug 2009 after being recruited by Keren Rambow. Keren had been providing JMPS support to Classic Hornet for a few years and PAC were looking to expand and acquire the Super Hornet JMPS Support contract with 82WG. I was working with Raytheon at the time employed in an associate engineer role. In those early days, PAC was a very small company with only a handful of people.

I worked with Super Hornet within 82WG from 2009 up to 2014 when I was then asked to go to HMAS Albatross (Nowra) to set up the MH-60R mission planning capability. I believe we won this contract based on the excellent support we were providing to 82WG over a number of years. Once Dan Dwiar, Chris Williams and Pete Brennan were recruited into the Nowra JMPS roles and things were running smoothly, I returned back to Amberley in 2015 and resumed my JMPS support role. Other than JMPS support, I was also used as a resource on other PAC programs including Super Hornet TOFT Qualification activities and by the Boeing OPS Team manager assisting with OPS support tasks. At that time, I was also made the Team Lead for the Amberley and Nowra JMPS support teams.

In 2016, PAC were approached to provide mission system support expertise to resolve ongoing issues with the KC-30A MRTT mission planning system and other tactical mission systems. I was put forward by PAC to fill this role which I did for the following two years. This was a challenging but rewarding period and I was recognised by 33SQN aircrew, HALSPO and Northrup Grumman as the prime contractor for my expertise and professionalism in being able to resolve many issues and progress development of the KC-30A mission systems. After my contract period with KC-30A ended in late 2018, I again returned back to 82WG where I resumed a Super Hornet JMPS support role. As the EA-18G Growler had been introduced into RAAF service in 2017 while I was away from 82WG, the environment had now changed and the challenge was to get up to speed with the different planning and support aspects peculiar to the Growler. I have remained in that role since 2019 over which time the PAC team here at 82WG has grown and also PAC significantly as a company. My role here now is focused around the technical and configuration management support aspects of the mission planning environment rather than just the system administrator aspects.

This requires regular interaction with the many supporting stakeholders within 82WG, ACEASPO, Boeing (BDA) and numerous external supporting agencies. Due to my experience, I am also relied upon to provide initial familiarisation and OJT to new PAC employees and also Boeing and RAAF staff. 

Developing and standing up the initial Super Hornet mission planning capability for 82WG. I also was involved with initial stand up of the MH-60R mission planning capability in Nowra. 

I also spent a few years working in a KC-30A mission support role at 33SQN. I my time there, I was able to make significant improvements in advancing use of the mission planning system and other mission capabilities. I was highly regarded for my expertise and professionalism.

I believe my work ethic and professionalism in my early years with PAC while working at 82WG paved the way for other contracts which followed including the Nowra JMPS contract and also the mission support role at KC-30. I was recognised as an SME in my field and PAC are now recognised as the preferred service provider for mission planning support.

I very much work at the sharp end of operations so regularly get to interact with aircrew, maintenance staff and also other stakeholders in support agencies like the SPO. Every day is different and as our JMPS system is subject to regular updates and changes there is always new things to learn and challenges to overcome. Our PAC team here is comprised of dedicated and professional people who always aim to do the best for the customer. We are all good friends and there is always plenty of banter to keep it fun and interesting.

I have been fortunate to travel a bit in my time with PAC. I have done plenty of trips to the US to participate in JMPS test events. These are always busy but memorable experiences. I have also deployed with RAAF SQNs on deployments to a number of locations around Australia. These have also been experiences I will remember.

While living in Nowra on the MH-60R contract, I shared a unit with Dan Dwiar for about six months. While I was separated from my family over that time, Dan always kept things interesting and fun with his sense of humour. We remain good friends nearly 10 years on despite me constantly ribbing him about his beloved Parramatta and NSW Origin teams being regular losers.

I believe PAC has a great culture and solid values. PAC is generally good at recruiting highly skilled and experienced people who are dedicated professionals. I see myself as being aligned to these same values. 

Always be willing to learn new skills and take opportunities to do new and different things when they are offered. Don’ t get too focused and isolated in your own role, understand where you fit into the bigger picture and how you contribute to the capability you support.

I would also say be flexible and be prepared to adapt as nothing stays the same for too long. I regularly say ‘the only constant is change’.

Something I have learned over the years is the 80% solution today is much more valuable than the 100% solution next year. You need to be productive to be valuable.

I believe PAC has a bright future. I expect PAC will continue to expand its interests and continue to grow as the company’s reputation grows as a professional and customer focused service provider.
I see that I will remain an SME in my space in the short term and be used as a resource for future work to stand up a new capability as I have done in the past.

I like that PAC is open to being flexible with employees and making sure a work/life balance is achieved. It is great that we have the flexibility to manage our work routine within our own teams provided the customer needs are met.

As PAC is a relatively small company, I am glad that we are not overloaded with corporate administration and overhead like many of the larger companies. Having said that, I sense we are starting to head in that direction as we get bigger.

I guess I was asked to contribute to the campaign as recognition of my service to PAC over a long period. While I appreciate the sentiment, I am not normally one that needs to have my name up in lights and be the centre of attention. I am sure there are plenty of other PAC staff that would also be deserving of the opportunity.

My message to others would be that time marches on quickly so make the most of your time and opportunities. Do your best work and be productive every day. 

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