The extra work of training personnel in Military Self Defence and preparing them for operations has earned a Navy Warrant Officer an Australia Day honour.
Warrant Officer Nick Davies received a Conspicuous Service Medal in the 2015 Australia Day honours
While posted to HMAS Kuttabul as the Chief Petty Officer Physical Trainer at the Indoor Sports Centre in 2013-14, Warrant Officer Davies was tasked with coordinating Military Self Defence courses around the country so that personnel could be assigned to various operations.
“It was like another full time job added onto my own,” he said.
The courses taught trainees multiple self-defence skills such as disarming assailants who may be brandishing rifles, pistols, edged or blunt weapons, along with preventing assailants taking military weapons.
Warrant Officer Davies said a large component of the training was based on communication and trying to de-escalate the situation.
“There’s also hand to hand self-defence techniques such as ground domination, counters to body holds, applying locking techniques, take-downs to restraint and pressure point control to name a few,” he said.
“Use of reasonable and proportional force is also a key factor of the training.”
The course is mandatory for all personnel in ships’ boarding party teams and the transit security elements on Operations RESOLUTE and SOVEREIGN BORDERS and also included Army and Air Force trainees.
In addition, ships’ boarding party teams deploying on Operation MANITOU also require the training.
“We’ll get kids who’ve never really been involved in sports, fights or physical confrontations,” Warrant Officer Davies said.
“After day one they feel like they’ve played a game of footy, their muscles are sore and they’re wondering how they can get through five days.
“But when they get through the scenarios by day five, they have a real sense of achievement and a confidence boost, that’s very rewarding as an instructor.”
Warrant Officer Davies regularly participated in the training itself as the senior instructor on courses that ran in various parts of Australia.
He was also the Quality Assessor and managed all the administrative requirements.
Warrant Officer Davies was also required to staff courses with volunteer instructors from all three services.
“It was quite surprising to hear about the award,” he said.
“It’s always good to get recognised for additional duties external to your core role.”
The citation reads, “For meritorious devotion to duty as Chief Petty Officer Physical Training Instructor at the Navy Indoor Sports Centre, in managing and executing Military Self Defence training for Operations RESOLUTE and SOVEREIGN BORDERS”.