A key component of the Navy mission to fight and win at sea, is for certain personnel to always be proficient in weapons handling and operation.
All Navy members categorised as weapons user categories are required to qualify annually on the live fire range or weapons training system to maintain weapon proficiency and individual readiness.
Weapons handling is a perishable skill so it is important that constant and consistent training be provided for personnel to maintain and retain these skills.
Weapons user categories include all members of the Boatswains Mate, Clearance Diver, Combat System Operator Mine Warfare, and Cryptological System Submariner professions. These categories are required to pass and maintain a higher level of weapon proficiency and knowledge in a larger variety of weapons. Handling weapons and weapon skills are a major part of their category employment both at sea and ashore.
The weapons component of individual readiness is intended to ensure that those personnel who are required to use individual weapons maintain a suitable standard of proficiency
Weapons user category sailors qualify annually on a live fire range or weapons training simulation system on all weapons they are proficient on. A pass in live fires is to be achieved to maintain currency on the weapons and to remain qualified. In addition, those serving at sea are to complete small arms weapons training tests every three months on all weapons they are proficient in.
Proficient personnel also contribute to the weapons handling training of those personnel deploying who require refreshing, updating and validation of existing qualifications. For example, the Boatswains at HMAS Harman, this sees them conducting up to 20 sessions each year supporting those personnel in the Canberra region deploying.