AMI Group and Westpac Express: Completion of a 16 year Mission
After a maintenance contract spanning in excess of a decade, the retirement of the Austal built Westpac Express almost feels like farewelling an old friend.
AMI Technicians have attended the vessel since 2001, having had the sole contract and responsibility as the SBM holder and preferred maintenance provider for all Navigation, Communication, CCTV, Entertainment, Night Vision and additional Marine Electronic Equipment.
The Westpac Express has seen her fair share of deployment, playing a key role in humanitarian and disaster relief missions via the United States Marine Corps during her 16 year charter, including providing aid during the Boxing Day Tsunami of 2004. The vessel will now enter service with Irish Ferries.
During her time in operation, the Express required specialised equipment to maintain recognised Flag and Class Certifications, this equipment was supplied and maintained by AMI, in addition to an extensive Bridge Navigation and Internal & External Communications Equipment suite.
The Theatre Support Vessel was implemental in earning Austal recognition as a key builder and defence exporter, as explained by David Singleton, Austal’s Chief Executive Officer, "The WestPac Express was one of the vessels that turbocharged Austal’s development as a high-technology Defence exporter of world renown.. The success and durability of this vessel is a testament to Austal’s in-house design team, that is delivering next generation technology and setting the international benchmark for high speed, high performance passenger ferries."
For AMI, the handback of the vessel marks the completion of a long time promise in quality assurance. "It was a privilege to work on this vessel and with the various Australian Austal, US Support Teams and Japanese Support Companies in conjunction with US Crews over the years have been a great experience with lifelong friendships and combined team commitment including many Australian Support Engineers, from AMI, which will never be forgotten"- Gary Bowater AMI Director and original Support Engineer.
In an ongoing role, AMI look forward to providing support for the USNS Guam (a high-speed transport vessel), now operating in the region, and other Austal Defence and Commercial craft currently in service around the world.
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