No average classroom for marine technicians

This article has photo gallery Published on MIDN Jason Jordan (author), LSIS Peter Thompson (photographer)

Topic(s): Training, Ships, Boats and Submarines, HMAS Adelaide (L01), Naval Engineering

ABMT Dylan Riebe (standing) advises SMNMT Matthew Bakker as he takes action to rectify a simulated ship system fault, during Engineering Casualty Control Drills conducted in the secondary control room of HMAS Adelaide, while underway at sea. (photo: LSIS Peter Thompson)
ABMT Dylan Riebe (standing) advises SMNMT Matthew Bakker as he takes action to rectify a simulated ship system fault, during Engineering Casualty Control Drills conducted in the secondary control room of HMAS Adelaide, while underway at sea.

Marine technicians onboard amphibious ship HMAS Adelaide are trading the classroom for a more hands-on training system, giving them a more realistic experience of the ship’s working environment.

The new environment allows complex training on breakdowns and drills to be performed at sea with no restrictions to the operational readiness of the platform.

Warrant Officer Marine Technician Colin Milligan, of Amphibious and Afloat Support Group, said training was not restricted to technical sailors. Built-in simulations for bridge crew were also available on different evolutions, such as berthing or pilotage.

“Training targets can also be achieved with the ship alongside even in an extended maintenance period, with minimal requirements to take away from ship maintenance,” Warrant Officer Milligan said.

“This new training simulation innovation is being achieved with the introduction of the Integrated Platform Management Systems – On Board Training System now fitted to both amphibious assault ships.

“Trainees can now be put to the test in the actual ship’s environment.”

A pilot was conducted aboard Adelaide in February while in transit to Western Australia.

Under the tutelage of Warrant Officer Milligan, six technicians were trained and gained their marine skills trade.

“You can feel the emotion in the room as the class is immersed in a real control room environment. The realism and fidelity of the simulator provides the operators 100 per cent confidence when working with the ship’s actual systems,” Warrant Officer Milligan said.

The training system is a replica of the current version of the ship’s real system, but has the added bonuses of local operating panel and realism.

Warrant Officer Milligan said it was a quantum leap from classroom-based simulation training.

The complexity of the system allows faults to be simulated and the marine technicians react as if the ship’s actual system is showing the fault in real time.

“Using new training simulation innovations, the Navy’s mission could now be extended to train, fight and win at sea,” Warrant Officer Milligan said.

“The training will also be fitted to the new destroyers and oilers coming online. Using this new technology and simulated equipment we can train smarter, not harder.”