More than 50 technical sailors from around Australia have come together at HMAS Cerberus to contest the national final of the 2018 Navy Engineering Challenge.
Marine, Electronic and Aviation Technicians who had won regional competitions throughout the year showcased the spectrum of their trades in front of Head of Navy Engineering, Rear Admiral Colin Lawrence.
The competition required innovative thinking; it tested the competitors’ technical skill in their respective field, and their ability to work as a team under pressure.
Five Marine Technician teams competed against each other as they assembled and turned over large diesel generator units and built electrical power supplies and refrigeration units.
The late injection of a trainee member on the day also required adaptability under pressure.
Five Electronic Technician teams fielded their own tracked robots in a set of challenge tasks, testing their navigation and control systems while nearby the two Aviation Technician teams rushed to be the first to assemble and start flight control systems.
Event Manager, Captain Chris Fealy, said the competition reflected what our technical sailors can do under pressure.
“Each team worked hard to be here today and the effort they’ve put in goes to show that they take their trades seriously.
“What really stood out was the team dynamic and innovative thinking; the atmosphere was quite electric,” he said.
“Most of the sailors in this competition trained at Cerberus with little or no prior technical experience and it’s great to see them back where their careers began, relying on the trades they’ve built.”
The Marine Technician category was taken out by HMAS Kuttabul while Fleet Support Unit at HMAS Stirling walked away as the national champions in the Electronic Technician category.
The Navy Aviation Systems Project Office based at HMAS Albatross won the Aviation Technician category, beating their rivals from 816 Squadron.
RADM Lawrence presented the winning teams with their trophies and told all participants he hoped they would inspire others to compete in the future.
“I am a big supporter of this event and I think it’s a showcase of the very best of your abilities as a naval technical workforce,” he said.
“Every single challenger here today exhibited an element of team work that was absolutely fundamental to deliver an outcome.”
The 2018 Navy Engineering Challenge winners are now entitled to call themselves a ‘Champion Technician of the Navy’ and wear a special cuff rate badge on their ceremonial uniforms.