Over an intensive two week sea assessment period in October, seven Marine Technician sailors achieved their Marine Systems Controller qualifications in HMAS Parramatta as part of the Project METEOR pilot event.
In addition the time at sea also enabled two sailors to achieve Marine System Manager qualifications and two to achieve Marine System Technician qualifications. Eleven operator qualifications in two weeks represents a significant achievement by all involved.
Project METEOR is a collaborative initiative developed by Navy Capability and Training Organisations that aims to develop a standardised maritime technical training syllabus that is consistent with existing policy. It leverages simulator training, with an accelerated training and assessment period at sea. This is a concept similar to existing continuums such as Principal Warfare Officer Sea Week and the Surface Combatant Navigation Courses. A key outcome of the project is the delivery of a standardised training process in order to provide a predictable training pipeline.
During the two week sea training and assessment period each trainee was required to complete sufficient engineering break down drills in order to provide the necessary evidence to proceed to their oral board assessment.
“This was a fantastic opportunity to speed up my career progression without losing the integrity of the qualification," said participant Able Seaman Scott Bowring.
The seven students were supported by seven dedicated training staff. The lead trainer, Chief Petty Officer Steven Paterson, said it was great to see the engineering leadership group working in such a collaborative manner.
"It has been really impressive to see the exceptional professional development in the students from the start of their course to now,”he said.
Despite the challenging weather conditions off the east Australian coast, Parramatta’s crew and METEOR team worked well together with flexibility and problem solving initiative being demonstrated at all levels.
The Commanding Officer, Commander Andrew Willis, said that from a command perspective, the opportunity to contribute towards a strategic Navy priority that aligned training objectives and operational demands was extremely useful.
"This project is delivering real outcomes for both the sailors and the Navy," he said.
Parramatta will host the next Project METEOR sea assessment period in January 2015.