HMAS Adelaide rallies for first major damage control exercise

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Todd Fitzgerald (author), LSIS Nina Fogliani (photographer)

An MRH-90 helicopter on the flight deck of HMAS Adelaide during a Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief exercise in Jervis Bay. (photo: LSIS Nina Fogliani)
An MRH-90 helicopter on the flight deck of HMAS Adelaide during a Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief exercise in Jervis Bay.

HMAS Adelaide has completed her first major damage control exercise during a her unit readiness work-up.

Known as a DC201, the simulated damage control exercise began with a missile strike to Adelaide’s port quarter, causing widespread fire, flood and casualties on board. 

Crew members fought for more than two hours to ‘save’ the 27,000-tonne warship. 

Petty Officer Physical Trainer Kristian Weldon said the ship’s company of Adelaide were ready for the evaluation.

“We have done a lot of work to get where we are now and we have reached all our milestones over the last six months, and the work up is the final hurdle that we need to get over. The spirit is high and everyone is happy. It’s a long road but I know we can get there,” he said.

Adelaide
 Executive Officer, Commander Brendan Zilko, said their first DC201 was a “valuable learning experience”. He encouraged his crew to do the small things well.

Adelaide
 is in Jervis Bay until 22 April undertaking the concentrated training period, which is designed and administered by Navy’s in-house assessment team, Sea Training Group, to ensure she is ready to conduct humanitarian aid, disaster relief and non-combatant evacuation operations.

Damage control exercises are a fundamental part of the evaluation process and test a ship’s response to major emergencies such as fire and flood sustained by combat damage.

Fleet Executive Officer, Commander Troy Van Tienhoven of Sea Training Group said Adelaide will conduct at least three major damage control exercises each week until the final evaluation.

He said the ship was early on in her work-up and had performed “as expected” in her first test. The crew’s enthusiasm would help them achieve unit readiness.

“We are picking up quite a few learning points which we hope to coach and mentor them though in the next three weeks,” he said.