A force of Marine Systems Managers

Published on LEUT Anthea Baczkowski (author), ABIS Jake Badior (photographer)

Topic(s): Operation MANITOU

Commanding Officer HMAS Success, Captain Justin Jones, RAN (right) presents Leading Seaman Marine Technician Gregory Williams with his Marine Systems Manager Certificate in a small ceremony on the Flight Deck of HMAS Success during Operation MANITOU. (photo: Able Seaman Jake Badior)
Commanding Officer HMAS Success, Captain Justin Jones, RAN (right) presents Leading Seaman Marine Technician Gregory Williams with his Marine Systems Manager Certificate in a small ceremony on the Flight Deck of HMAS Success during Operation MANITOU.

On 24 December 2014, in the middle of operations in the Middle East four HMAS Success sailors achieved a significant milestone.

Captain Justin Jones, awarded four proud sailors their Auxiliary Oiler Replenishment Endorsed Marine Systems Manager qualification in front of ship's company. 

Leading Seamen Matthew Timbs, Luke Pantic, Joshua Carter and Gregory Williams all received the qualification after many months of hard work, intense learning and rapid development in dealing with the myriad of engineering emergencies, faults and problem solving activities to meet the requirements of the Marine Systems Manager Task Book. 

HMAS Success’ Training Officer, Lieutenant Ben Churcher, said the sailors should be proud of their achievements as the qualification is not easily gained and involves significant amounts of on-the-job training and watch-keeping rotations. 

“The four sailors began their progression through their Task Books in early/mid 2014 leading into the high-tempo period that Success experienced over the last 12 months,” Lieutenant Churcher said.

“This period included involvement in Exercise RIM OF THE PACIFIC and Operation SOUTHERN INDIAN OCEAN, before completing the Mission Readiness Evaluation for deployment to the Middle East Region as part of Operation MANITOU.

“With that tempo, these sailors have had significant opportunity to demonstrate their capabilities and contribute markedly to Success’ important achievements.” 

Leading Seaman Luke Pantic said it was a stressful but rewarding experience conducting Engineering Casualty Control Drills daily during the transit to the Middle East Region. 

"It was a great learning curve and now I have an increased knowledge of the practical component of the engineering plant on board Success,” Leading Seaman Pantic said.

“Some of the work and skills that we needed to demonstrate included managing machinery breakdowns, partial and total power losses, mechanical problem solving and crises management and maintaining propulsion and power distribution as required by Command."

“All of this is required to be achieved in spite of progressive degradation in engineering capability,” he said.

The sailors have now demonstrated that they are ready to rise to the challenge of being Marine Systems Managers onboard HMAS Success and Leading Seaman Pantic said he is keen to keep learning.

“The study was tireless as there is a lot a Marine Systems Manager has to know but the learning doesn’t stop now I have my qualification,” he said. 

“Being in charge of the engineering plant is still a little daunting but very rewarding.”

The Success command team has focussed on training and task book completion the last few months to ensure maximum capability while on deployment in the Middle East Region. Achievement of Marine Systems Manager qualification is also a key step in the ongoing development of Engineering Sailors. To award four qualifications in such a short time shows that these sailors’ efforts have paid off.