Practice makes perfect

This article has photo gallery Published on SBLT Max Logan (author), ABIS Tara Byrne (photographer)

Topic(s): HMAS Canberra (L02), HMAS Sirius (A266), Exercise OCEAN EXPLORER

The crew of HMAS Canberra fall in on the flight deck while they prepare to conduct a Replenishment at Sea (RAS) with HMAS Sirius, during Exercise OCEAN EXPLORER 18. (photo: ABIS Tara Byrne)
The crew of HMAS Canberra fall in on the flight deck while they prepare to conduct a Replenishment at Sea (RAS) with HMAS Sirius, during Exercise OCEAN EXPLORER 18.

Personnel in HMAS Canberra have wasted no time in honing their seamanship skills ahead of Navy’s premier war fighting activity.

The ship sailed side-by-side with Western Australian-based Auxiliary Oiler HMAS Sirius for a Replenishment at Sea (RAS), an evolution which enables the transferring of personnel, stores and fuel.

Safety supervisor for the RAS, Chief Petty Officer Boatswain Ritson Carr, said the training allowed sailors recently posted to the ship to gain valuable experience in a fundamental seamanship evolution.

“For my sailors it’s their job to conduct line handling and take charge of these activities.

“The more exposure they get, the better they’ll be at doing it and the more confidence they’ll have in themselves,” he said.

The RAS was conducted as part of the much larger exercise, designed to challenge multiple ships to operate in an adaptive and responsive maritime task group.

“We haven’t had a lot of task group interaction until the last few years, with the acquisition of Navy’s much larger and highly capable Landing Helicopter Docks,” Chief Petty Officer Carr said.

“Previously we were focused on single-ship operations, but sailing in naval task groups enables us to experience these activities more often.

“It is a lot more involved and there’s increased interaction between units.

Exercise OCEAN EXPLORER is one of the largest fleet training activities conducted by the Royal Australian Navy.

Two submarines, 12 ships and embarked helicopters will take part off the east coast of Australia and south to Bass Strait with a key focus on task group operations.