Army Veteran Contributes to One of the Fastest Developing Business Areas at Lockheed Martin Australia
In 2021, Damien McMahon was running his own management consultation business and living in Brisbane with his wife and two daughters. A keen outdoorsman, Damien enjoys Queensland’s beaches, camping, fishing and hunting – a career change was the last thing on his mind.
But as luck would have it, one of Damien’s old school mates was working for Lockheed Martin Australia (LMA) and suggested he might be interested in a new role with LMA’s Missile and Fire Control (MFC) business area in Canberra.
Damien is an Army veteran and served in the military for 10 years. That experience, coupled with more than a decade working in business improvement and management consultation, made him a good fit for the new MFC Business Development Analyst position.
One year on, Damien McMahon is now the LMA Business Development Analyst, Missile and Fire Control – one of the fastest developing business areas at Lockheed Martin Australia.
Like many of Lockheed Martin’s personnel, Damien is a proud veteran.
In the late 80s, he left his home town of Wagga Wagga, NSW, to attend boarding school before being accepted into the Australian Army's officer training establishment The Royal Military College, Duntroon.
Damien entered Duntroon in 1995 and was commissioned at the end of 1996. He then went to infantry and served with the 1st Battalion Royal Australian Regiment in Townsville for three years before going to the 4th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (Commando) followed by the Special Forces from 2000 until the end of 2016.
"I did ten years full-time in the Army and about six years part-time in the Army Reserve – in the First Commando Regiment. When I was in the Army I deployed to East Timor in 2001, went to Iraq in 2003 and then Afghanistan in 2010."
"I loved it. Never had a day I didn't enjoy in the Army." Damien said with a smile.
“My career after the Army was all about management consulting, business improvement, consulting into businesses – looking at ways businesses can improve, improve their performance, improve their people. I was working for myself, so there was always a sales, business development component to that, because you were always selling yourself to try and win your next piece of work.
“From a business development perspective, it wasn't true business development, or exclusive business development, but that was a key part of what I was doing.
In his current role as the MFC Business Development Analyst, Damien helps the Australian Defence Force and New Zealand Defence Force to understand what capabilities and support Lockheed Martin Australia can provide them – identifying how and where Lockheed Martin systems can be integrated into the broader Defence ecosystem, as well as educating customers as to how these systems will be more effective for the modern warfighter.
“I work for Missiles and Fire Control, but it's not just about missile systems, it's about any type of help that we can give them (the customer) – understanding how to employ other weapon systems in a better way or how to integrate things together.
“Because Lockheed Martin is a very diverse business, the customer sometimes isn’t aware of all the skills we have that can help them to improve their business and make their operations more effective.”
The Long Range Anti-ship Missile (LRASM) is a good example of how Damien’s role works to help the customer better understand what capabilities and support Lockheed Martin Australia can provide them – and how the customer can better integrate LRASM into Australia and New Zealand’s modern fighting force.
“The capabilities that we’re helping the ADF to field are all about deterrence.
There's no greater contribution to national security than fielding a weapons system like the long range anti-ship missile – because of its deterrent factor, it keeps our adversaries at bay and is a significant contributor to national security.”
2023 will be a busy year for the LMA Missiles and Fire Control team. New contracts, new staff and new facilities will all make for challenges and opportunities for Damien and his MFC colleagues.
“The most challenging aspect of my role is understanding customer requirements – but it can also be the most rewarding aspect as well, because being a veteran and having served in the army, it’s good to still be contributing.” Damien said.
Lockheed Martin provides flexible working arrangements, allowing Damien to work between Brisbane and Head office in Canberra. More time in Brisbane means more time for Damien and his family to enjoy the warm climate and the outdoors. Damien likes to stay in shape and trains with his Brisbane mates whenever he can – but you won’t find him at a Broncos or Reds game, he has little interest in sport and prefers going bush with his family, heading north to Gympie for some camping, hunting and fishing.
“I like getting out into the outdoors – going bush walking, camping, hunting, those types of things. We have a friend’s farm that my family and I get access too, so we go up there and help with cattle work. We like to go out fishing and boating – predominantly all outdoors.”
Damien is looking forward to a busy 2023. The announcement of the signing of the Head Agreement with Defence, the opening of the Mulwala facility, and Australia’s purchase of the HIMARS will bring with them new opportunities to expand MFC’s footprint even further in Australia. All this plus the arrival of a new Dobermann puppy into the McMahon family, will keep Damien very busy.
“I’m still working with friends of mine who are currently serving. So you feel like you're making a contribution and I think that's a feeling that permeates the whole business – like the culture of the business – it feels like everyone is working towards a common goal – everyone has got a real purpose.”
In the future, Damien hopes to travel overseas again – for pleasure, not work.
“I like Thailand, we’ve been to Thailand a few times. I like Europe as well – we did travel a bit to Europe from Dubai and I had a couple of work trips with the Army to Vietnam and would like to take my family back one day – that would be good.”
But in the meantime, ‘business is booming’ for Damien and the MFC team and he’s looking forward to the year ahead.
“I like Lockheed Martin, I like the business and I like the systems that Lockheed Martin are involved in developing and fielding – I’d be happy to stay with LMA for the ongoing future.”