Canberra’s landing craft coxswains demonstrate new skills

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Emily Kennedy (author), LSIS Helen Frank (photographer)

Location(s): Sydney Harbour, NSW

Commander Surface Force, Commodore Jonathan Mead, AM, RAN visited a Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) Landing Craft to witness first hand its capability. This contractor provided training is being delivered to NUSHIP Canberra personnel ahead of the Landing Craft being handed over to Defence in the coming months. (photo: LSIS Helen Frank)
Commander Surface Force, Commodore Jonathan Mead, AM, RAN visited a Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) Landing Craft to witness first hand its capability. This contractor provided training is being delivered to NUSHIP Canberra personnel ahead of the Landing Craft being handed over to Defence in the coming months.

Navy’s brand new Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) Landing Craft have been out and about on Sydney Harbour and local waterways as NUSHIP Canberra personnel continue their training on this exciting new capability.
 
The LHD Landing Craft (LLC) are scheduled to be handed over to Canberra in the coming months. In the mean time, the Canberra teams who will be driving, crewing and maintaining the vessels are undertaking further contractor training based at HMAS Waterhen.
 
Commander Surface Force, Commodore Jonathan Mead, joined Canberra’s Commanding Officer, Captain Jonathan Sadleir, during a visit onboard an LLC to witness first hand aspects of the new landing craft.

Commander Surface Force, Commodore Jonathan Mead, AM, RAN speaks with Mr Scott Dempster from Scientific Management Associates and Mr Kevin Mauger, Test and Trials manager, Defence Materiel Organisation during a visit to a Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) Landing Craft on Sydney Harbour. This contractor provided training is being delivered to NUSHIP Canberra personnel ahead of the Landing Craft being handed over to Defence in the coming months.

Commander Surface Force, Commodore Jonathan Mead, AM, RAN speaks with Mr Scott Dempster from Scientific Management Associates and Mr Kevin Mauger, Test and Trials manager, Defence Materiel Organisation during a visit to a Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) Landing Craft on Sydney Harbour. This contractor provided training is being delivered to NUSHIP Canberra personnel ahead of the Landing Craft being handed over to Defence in the coming months.


“It was an excellent opportunity to see NUSHIP Canberra coxswains and crew demonstrate the skills they have learned in handling these brand new landing craft as part of their graduated training process,” Commodore Mead said.
 
The 23 metre, 56  tonne (unloaded) craft have two water jet propulsion units giving the LLCs a longer range, outstanding manoeuvrability, increase speed and more power compared to current in-service ADF landing craft.
 
Canberra LLC coxswain Leading Seaman Boatswains Mate Michael Hines said he was proud to demonstrate the new craft.

Leading Seaman Boatswains Mate Michael Hines, coxswains NUSHIP Canberra's Landing Craft during a visit from Commander Surface Force, Commodore Jonathan Mead, AM, RAN. This contractor provided training is being delivered to NUSHIP Canberra personnel ahead of the Landing Craft being handed over to Defence in the coming months.

Leading Seaman Boatswains Mate Michael Hines, coxswains NUSHIP Canberra's Landing Craft during a visit from Commander Surface Force, Commodore Jonathan Mead, AM, RAN. This contractor provided training is being delivered to NUSHIP Canberra personnel ahead of the Landing Craft being handed over to Defence in the coming months.


“It was great to have Commodore Surface Force and the Commanding Officer onboard to demonstrate the skills we have developed and expose them to some of the challenges that we will potentially face when operating these craft,” Leading Seaman Hines said.
 
“It is a huge responsibility that someone of my rank will be in charge of a 56 tonne vessel and crew that will be operating potentially many miles from the LHD.
 
“I had the opportunity to demonstrate a beach landing and also to show the Commodore the wheelhouse and the layout of the console,” Leading Seaman Hines said.

Commander Surface Force, Commodore Jonathan Mead, AM, RAN visited a Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) Landing Craft to witness first hand its capability. This contractor provided training is being delivered to NUSHIP Canberra personnel ahead of the Landing Craft being handed over to Defence in the coming months.

Commander Surface Force, Commodore Jonathan Mead, AM, RAN visited a Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) Landing Craft to witness first hand its capability. This contractor provided training is being delivered to NUSHIP Canberra personnel ahead of the Landing Craft being handed over to Defence in the coming months.


Canberra’s Dock Officer, Lieutenant Commander Michael Nipperess said his department was very fortunate to soon become the first custodians of the new LLCs.
 
“The LLCs are one of the ‘jewels in the crown” as part of the overall capability of the Landing Helicopter Dock,” Lieutenant Commander Nipperess said.
 
“I have been really impressed with the Canberra teams who have built up such an excellent skill level in a relatively short period of time on these brand new craft,” he said.
 
Each LHD will be assigned six LLCs, but can only carry four at any one time. The extra two craft will be used for training at the LLC school and also provide redundancy for periods of routine maintenance.
 
The LHD’s primary roles are to embark, transport and deploy an embarked force along with their equipment and aviation units, and to carry out/support humanitarian missions. In either of these situations the Landing Craft provide an essential role - particularly when operating in areas that are inaccessible by other means or there is an absence of port infrastructure.

Imagery is available on the Navy Image Library at http://images.navy.gov.au/S20142234.