Training on the high seas

This article has photo gallery Published on ABIS Leo Baumgartner (author and photographer), ABIS Shane Cameron (photographer)

Topic(s): Training, HMAS Canberra (L02), Exercise TALISMAN SABRE

HMAS Canberra's Deputy Aviation Engineering Officer Lieutenant Nachiket Raje keeps watch during close quarters maneuvering during Exercise TALISMAN SABRE 2019. (photo: ABIS Shane Cameron)
HMAS Canberra's Deputy Aviation Engineering Officer Lieutenant Nachiket Raje keeps watch during close quarters maneuvering during Exercise TALISMAN SABRE 2019.

It’s not every day that trainee aerospace engineering officers get to conduct on-the-job training onboard a Royal Australian Navy ship during a busy major exercise like TALISMAN SABRE.

HMAS Canberra’s Deputy Aviation Engineering Officer, Lieutenant Nachiket Raje, said opportunities to embark in the LHDs for TALISMAN SABRE 2019 gave a group of trainees a strong appreciation of naval aviation.

“The aviation engineering department is integral in ensuring capable and safe aviation facilities.

“Understanding the context of embarked operations will support the development of the junior engineers in their future postings,” Lieutenant Raje said.

An aerospace engineering officer is responsible for managing routine maintenance and ensuring airworthiness of Navy helicopters. When deployed in these roles on ships, the task can be even more complex.

But Sub Lieutenant Mitchell Robertson - one of the trainees who embarked for TALISMAN SABRE - said he appreciated the opportunity to work in Canberra.

“As engineers in the Navy’s Canberra-class landing helicopter dock ships, aerospace engineering officers are responsible for managing the ship’s aviation engineering department.

“They also support Australian Defence Force aircraft and aviation personnel when they embark on board the ship,” Sub Lieutenant Robertson said.

Sub Lieutenant Fiona Nguyen, another trainee officer, said she was excited to have the opportunity to deploy during TALISMAN SABRE for her on-the-job training.

“Participation in multinational exercises, such as TALISMAN SABRE, provides the Navy’s aerospace engineers a greater appreciation of how we support embarked aviation operations,” she said.

They will finish their time onboard having gained vital experience, as well as an appreciation of aviation operations and maintenance routines onboard. When the exercise ends, they will return to HMAS Albatross to consolidate their training and progress in their chosen careers.

TALISMAN SABRE 2019 imagery is available on the Defence Image Gallery:
https://images.defence.gov.au.