Choules crew communicates cooperation

Published on FLTLT Michael Moroney (author), LAC Oliver Carter (photographer)

Location(s): Manus Island, PNG

Topic(s): HMAS Choules (L100)

Able Seaman Benjamin Heron, a Communications and Information Systems sailor aboard HMAS Choules, talks with members of the Papua New Defence Force during an International Visual Morse Code practical exercise at Tarangau Naval Base, Manus Island. (photo: LAC Oliver Carter)
Able Seaman Benjamin Heron, a Communications and Information Systems sailor aboard HMAS Choules, talks with members of the Papua New Defence Force during an International Visual Morse Code practical exercise at Tarangau Naval Base, Manus Island.

HMAS Choules’ Communications and Information Systems (CIS) team have shown off their instructional skills, conducting visual Morse code training with Papua New Guinea Defence Force (PNGDF) personnel from Tarangau Naval Base, Manus Island.

In the lead up to their trip to Sydney for the International Fleet Review, PNGDF sailors posted to patrol boats received classroom theory training and performed a practical exercise utilising flashing light signals to communicate with HMAS Choules.

Organiser of the activity, Petty Officer Kyle Binstead, said the training was a good lead up activity for the PNGDF members prior to attending the Fleet Review, as it gave them a refresher on what to expect when they get to Sydney Harbour.

“The signals that were exercised with the crew were indicative of the close in formation manoeuvring that would occur within ship’s company,” PO Binstead said.

“This should give them a better understanding of how the Royal Australian Navy sets up and conducts evolutions.”

The training itself involved all members of the CIS team and Leading Seaman (LS) Jackson Wolfe said it gave some of the junior sailors a rare opportunity to provide instruction to senior sailors of another nation.

“I think the team found it quite enjoyable working with the PNG guys,” LS Wolfe said.

“A lot of them, being Able Seaman, haven’t had the chance to instruct very often, so this was a good opportunity for all involved.”

The activity was arranged as part of HMAS Choules’ contribution to the Defence Cooperation Program whilst in PNG, which is aimed at strengthening ties and understanding between the two Defence Forces.

Similar initiatives will be conducted over the next couple of months in areas such as medical and engineering.

Imagery is available on the Royal Australian Navy Media Library at http://images.navy.gov.au/S20131170.