Former RAAF fighter pilot John Lonergan has made a remarkably successful switch to the defence industry, creating Milskil – a brand new commercial venture centred around training fighter pilots in Australia.
"In the area in which we work, when I started it didn't exist in Australia, so that is contractors providing client war fighter training to the likes of fighter pilots," Lonergan told Defence Connect.
Lonergan – who during his RAAF stint has flown Mirages and F-18s to name but two models – stated that since those days in the cockpit, Defence Force requirements and the associated industry parameters had changed dramatically.
He said that previously, providing specific training services to key RAAF personnel had been largely an all but inaccessible market.
"That was very much a closed shop, internal to uniform, and that's across all the services – so all of my training was done by uniformed personnel," Lonergan explained.
"It wasn't until I went to the US Air Force on exchange that I was actually exposed to contractors who were doing part of the simulator training on the F-16."
"That's kind of where I saw the future I guess," added Lonergan, alluding to Milskil – the local venture he ultimately got off the ground.
In short, the concept behind Milskil centres on enabling contractors to deliver the essential services underpinning the training of the current generation of fighter pilots – right here in Australia.
Launched in 2001, the company is an Australian-owned operational training services provider, specialising in supplying integrated services to develop, support and fast-track operational capabilities for military, government and commercial customers.
Milskil’s military services portfolio features specialist ab initio training, advanced post-graduate training initiatives, capability development and management, as well as in-theatre operational support services.