Navy opens simulation trainer

This article has photo gallery Published on LCDR Alistair Tomlinson (author), ABIS Bonny Gassner (photographer)

Location(s): Randwick, New South Wales

Leading Seaman Maritime Technician Nathan Cook briefs Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Tim Barrett, AO, CSC, RAN and the Hon Matt Thistlethwaite MP, Member for Kingsford Smith, New South Wales inside The Navy Training Systems Centre - Randwick. (photo: ABIS Bonny Gassner)
Leading Seaman Maritime Technician Nathan Cook briefs Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Tim Barrett, AO, CSC, RAN and the Hon Matt Thistlethwaite MP, Member for Kingsford Smith, New South Wales inside The Navy Training Systems Centre - Randwick.

A state-of-the-art simulation facility has been opened in Sydney today that will enhance training for Royal Australian Navy technical sailors. 

Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Tim Barrett, officially opened the $90 million Navy Training Systems Centre at Randwick Barracks, and said the purpose-built facility would revolutionise how Navy prepares Marine and Electronic Technicians for their roles in the Fleet.

“This next generation training facility will ensure Navy can fully utilise the extraordinary capabilities of both the Canberra class amphibious ships and the Hobart class destroyers,” Vice Admiral Barrett said.

When fully operational, the centre will be able to train up to 300 students at a time, using a combination of simulation and modern training systems. 

Director Navy Modelling and Simulation Office, Captain Jonathan Ley, said that while Navy was a capable and agile war-fighting force, it needed to challenge the status quo, innovate and find better ways of doing business.  

“Modern technology gives us an opportunity to deliver more effective and efficient training in ways not previously considered possible.

“Simulation allows activities to be conducted on demand, in a controlled and repeatable manner while providing near immediate results to support after action review. It is also safe and generally more cost effective,” Captain Ley said. 

One of the main benefits of simulation or synthetic training is that it is not constrained by the availability of live assets or programming overheads or even geographical limitations. 

“Its full utility is best reflected by the wide variety of possible scenarios, ranging from an individual sailor’s training and education to complex high-end mission rehearsals, using task groups and joint or multinational forces.”

Vice Admiral Barrett said the use of simulation and task specific training tools would reduce Navy’s need to conduct elements of training at sea, allowing more sea days for advanced group training and to support Government directed operations.

“Our new amphibious ships and destroyers will be serving Australia’s national interests for the next three decades, which is why this centre will play a vital role underpinning the successful operation of these assets.

“I anticipate an expanded use of these types of facilities in the future, as they provide Navy with an essential capability at a lower total cost over the life of ships,” Vice Admiral Barrett said.

Recognising that Navy’s training needs will evolve the facility has been designed and constructed to be reconfigured for future training needs and additional platforms.

The building has also been constructed with minimal environmental impact, including energy self sufficiency through 100 rooftop photovoltaic panels.