20.10.2023

AIR FORCE VETERAN CARVES OUT SUCCESSFUL CAREER IN DEFENCE INDUSTRY

"Through my service, I learnt things like resilience and the importance of relationships, the ability to form partnerships and work as a team."
Having served as an engineering officer in the Royal Australian Air Force for nearly a decade, Allan Dundas was ready to take on a new challenge. Transitioning from the Australian Defence Force (ADF) into the civilian workforce, Allan brought an extensive range of skills and a passion for serving his country that launched his career in defence industry. The veteran is now at the helm of one of South Australia’s fastest-growing and innovative defence companies, DEWC Services.

From a young age, Allan knew the importance of service and sacrifice. He had a family history of military service stretching back generations, with two grandparents having served during World War II.

Continuing the family legacy of service, Allan joined the ADF at age 17, gaining his engineering degree from the Australian Defence Force Academy and going on to serve in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) for over nine years.

“I was seeking something meaningful and challenging, and because I had a strong family connection to military service, it only seemed natural. My grandparents had instilled a lasting impression on me that it was a worthy thing to serve your country,” Mr Dundas said.

Early in his Air Force career, Allan had the opportunity to provide capability upgrades to the RAAF’s P-3 Orion maritime patrol aircraft fleet – a project that sparked his interest in electronic warfare. Allan was responsible for delivering technical upgrades to the radar, intelligence-gathering and computing systems onboard the P-3 Orion, which enhanced the aircraft and enabled pilots to detect and identify more targets and at longer range.

“As a young officer I got to take on that challenge, which brought into service, at the time, a cutting-edge electronic warfare capability for the RAAF,” he said. Having demonstrated success on the P-3 Orion project, Allan was assigned a leadership role to support advanced capability enhancements to RAAF’s F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter jets.

“The role required me to be able to network effectively to provide connections between defence industry and the operation community to realise the enhancements,” he said.

“It was challenging, but I got to use my skills and made a difference for the war fighters. I was always driving my technical knowledge forward so I could be informed to drive the best capability for Defence.”

A new career trajectory

Wanting to take his technical career to the next level, Allan decided to leave the RAAF and embark on a new career in defence industry in 1999.

He started working as an engineering consultant for Defence, which saw him provide technical consultancy expertise on various electronic warfare projects that delivered cutting-edge intelligence, survivability and mission data capabilities to the RAAF.

“I wanted to pursue my passion for electronic warfare capability development and bring new capabilities to Defence,” he said.

“My time in the RAAF gave me a deep appreciation of what makes a difference to Defence and a good understanding of Defence needs. Through my service, I learnt things like resilience and the importance of relationships, the ability to form partnerships and work as a team.”

While working as an engineering consultant, Allan gained a greater appreciation of the difference his work could make in helping the ADF maintain its capability edge and protect ADF members in the modern battlespace.

Turning passion into a business

This passion for tackling complex electronic warfare challenges and a desire to help strengthen Australia’s sovereign defence capabilities, led Allan to launch his own business, DEWC Services, in 2011.

“Working on key Defence projects and witnessing first-hand the impact our work had on assisting our aviators do their dangerous work and return safely to their families in Australia, solidified my decision to establish DEWC Services.,” Mr Dundas said.

“It was passion that drove me to start DEWC, but I knew where I could add the most value and I wanted to provide more specialised services for Defence in the electronic warfare field.”

Focused on solving emerging challenges in electronic warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, DEWC Services quickly became a trusted partner of choice for Defence.

As the business grew, two new spin-off companies were born: the School of Information Operations (SOIO), which provides training to the next generation of Information Warfare specialists, and Asension which provides design, development and manufacture of bespoke electronic communication, control systems and sensor packages.

Today, DEWC Services has grown to a workforce of more than 85 technicians, engineers and scientists who have together delivered capabilities to a range of projects. This includes survivability upgrades to the P-3 Orion, enhancements to mission systems and sensors on the Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning and Control Aircraft, as well as mission data upgrades to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

“While our company growth has been rapid, we have always been committed to maintaining company values and investing in the development of our talented and hardworking people. It is our values and our passionate team that have been the foundation of DEWC’s success,” Mr Dundas added.

Allan’s deeply ingrained passion for serving Australia’s Defence Force and keeping its members safe forms the foundation of core values upon which his company is built. This purpose unifies its community of professionals to achieve the best outcomes for Defence, continuing a legacy of service through the generations.