Around 30 members of the Royal Australian Navy’s International Fleet Review Sydney 2013 (IFR) project team, led by Captain Nick Bramwell, Director IFR, attended the IFR Table Top Risk Exercise on 15 July hosted by the NSW Government Department of Premier and Cabinet. This was a key planning activity for the IFR and key stakeholders to come together to work through a number of scenarios to assess the major incident response framework and risk management processes that have been developed for the IFR.
Over 100 representatives participated in the multi-agency exercise, including from NSW Premier and Cabinet, City of Sydney, North Sydney and Mosman Councils, Barangaroo Development Authority, Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority, Transport Management Centre, Roads and Maritime Services, Sydney Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney Opera House, NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Meteorology, Sydney Ports, Marine Rescue NSW, Fire and Rescue NSW, Ambulance Service of NSW, St John’s Ambulance, NSW Police Force and Australian Federal Police.
The IFR is an incredibly complex project, spanning eight days and across land, sea and airspace, and involving the assets of numerous councils and authorities, which has required many months of planning and negotiation to establish who is responsible for which parts of the event, especially in the case of emergency. For example, if a spectator craft were to capsize while following a foreign navy ship, who is responsible for rescue and assistance to the craft and reporting the incident?
These, and many other scenarios were worked through during the risk exercise, establishing who would respond, where information needed to be reported and communicated to. It clearly demonstrated each and every incident or event that occurs during the IFR will have implications for various and numerous agencies involved.
The exercise was facilitated by Lieutenant Rick Stone, and was declared a highly useful activity by those who attended, as it gave the opportunity to run through proposed responses and identify any gaps or changes required. CAPT Bramwell noted, at the close of the exercise, “This has been another example of how all the many government departments, authorities and other organisations involved in the planning and development of the IFR have been consistently working together with a collaborative and cooperative approach to ensuring the IFR will be a memorable, historic and successful event for the RAN and everyone involved.”
The next step in the risk planning process will be a live exercise in September, when all communications centres are functioning, to test communication procedures and functions. The three main communication control centres being stood up for the IFR are the Police Operations Centre, the Government Communications Centre and IFR Coordination and Information Centre.
The IFR is taking place on Sydney Harbour from 3 -11 October 2013, to commemorate the centenary of the first Royal Australian Navy fleet entry into Sydney Harbour on 4 October 1913.
More than 40 warships from 20 nations including Australia, Brunei, Canada, China, France, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Micronesia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Thailand, Tonga, United Kingdom and the United States of America will participate. They will be joined by 17 international and local tall ships.
This one-in-one-hundred-year event will commence with tall ships entering Sydney Harbour on 3 October, followed by the Fleet Entry on 4 October. The Ceremonial Fleet Review takes place on 5 October, with military band performances, aircraft demonstrations, and concludes with the IFR Spectacular fireworks and light show at 7:30pm.
Other activities include warship open days at Garden Island and Barangaroo on 6 and 7 October; Freedom of Entry parades in Mosman and Parramatta on 8 October; a Combined Navies Parade along George Street on 9 October; and the RAN Sea Power Conference and Pacific 2013 International Maritime Exposition at the Sydney Exhibition and Convention Centre from 7-9 October.
Over 8000 Australian and visiting naval personnel will participate in the event which is being staged in partnership with the NSW State Government and the City of Sydney. For more information on the upcoming IFR events and activities see the website at http://www.navy.gov.au/ifr.