Naval Police Coxswains (NPC) are gaining valuable operational experience early in their careers serving as members of the joint-enabled Transit Security Element (TSE).
TSEs are made up of regular and reserve Army members and Navy personnel who embark in Armidale Class Patrol Boats deployed on Operation RESOLUTE – the ADF’s contribution to the whole-of-Government effort to protect Australia's borders and offshore maritime interests.
As NPCs move towards working in a joint environment, practical exposure to tri-service training and operations provides an invaluable experience to members, particularly early on in their career. A posting to a TSE rotation embeds junior NPCs within teams for a period of six months on Operation RESOLUTE. This includes force-preparation at HMAS Cerberus and operation within the patrol boat fleet out of Darwin and Cairns.
TSE 90 Watch Command member, Army Lieutenant William Thams said NPCs embedding in TSE rotations is a win-win.
“The NPC sailors contribute a range of valuable Navy skills and ideas to each joint element.
“They are also afforded the opportunity to broaden their own set of qualifications and experience an operational deployment,” Lieutenant Thams said.
Serving in a TSE rotation provides an opportunity to leverage and build on the skill-set developed over the Service Police course. There is a strong nexus in duties, particularly with regard to practical defensive techniques, searching of vessels, collection and recording of evidence and detainee management.
The high proportion of Army combat corps personnel in the rotation also ensures there is a strong focus on live-fire combat shooting training whilst ashore. This enables NPCs to return to their units with a very high degree of sidearm and rifle proficiency, an important skill to any policing, armed security warden or future boarding party role.
At sea, Navy members assist their team mates in green in settling in to Navy life including familiarisation of customs and traditions, and damage control. Patrol boat crews are also extremely welcoming, providing the opportunity for the junior NPC to understudy the boat’s Petty Officer NPC as well as becoming qualified on the platform and helm.
Serving Navy NPCs interested in volunteering for a TSE rotation should express this to their career manager. For personnel interested in transferring to Naval Police Coxswain, questions should be directed to their ship or local NPC detachment.