Employers of Defence Reservists sample Navy experience

This article has photo gallery Published on LCDR Brett Lane (author), CPOEW Martin Anderson (photographer)

Location(s): Twofold Bay, NSW

Topic(s): HMAS Albatross, HMAS Creswell, HMAS Adelaide (L01), Reserves

Captain Harry Lok, Royal Australian Navy Reserves and Mr James Digges, NSW Chair of the Defence Reserves Support Council on the flight deck of HMAS Adelaide with the participants of the Navy Exercise Boss Lift 2018. HMAS Adelaide hosted personnel from Ex-Boss Lift onboard overnight for a taste of life at sea in the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).  (photo: CPOEW Martin Anderson)
Captain Harry Lok, Royal Australian Navy Reserves and Mr James Digges, NSW Chair of the Defence Reserves Support Council on the flight deck of HMAS Adelaide with the participants of the Navy Exercise Boss Lift 2018. HMAS Adelaide hosted personnel from Ex-Boss Lift onboard overnight for a taste of life at sea in the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).

A group of civilian employers of Australian Defence Force Reserves recently enjoyed a first-hand experience of work and life in the Royal Australian Navy.

Exercise Boss Lift 2018 included time at sea in HMAS Adelaide, one of two Canberra class landing helicopter dock (LHD) ships in the Royal Australian Navy. The activity in HMAS Adelaide included launch and recovery of landing craft, transfer to the mainland in a Navy helicopter and visits to Navy bases HMAS Creswell and HMAS Albatross for survival training and flight simulator activities.

Exercise Boss Lift is coordinated and run by Reserve and Youth Division and the Defence Reserves Support Council to give employers of reservists, a deeper understanding of their commitment to serve in the defence and protection of Australia and skills considered to be transferable to their civilian jobs.

The employers were escorted by Naval Reserve personnel and joined the three-day exercise on board HMAS Adelaide for a transit from Sydney south to Twofold Bay at Eden, near the Victorian border. Navy, Army and Air Force personnel work together on board the ship, which provided the civilian employers with an insight into all three services of the Australian Defence Force.

Following introductions and safety briefings the group remained on the flight deck as the ship departed Sydney Harbour. During the transit they visited the bridge, flight control room, helicopter hanger, the impressive medical facility, landing-craft dock, accommodation and the vehicle decks.

The civilian employers enjoyed meals with crew members, were briefed by the Commanding Officer, Captain Jonathan Earley, and slept overnight in the embarked officers’ two-berth cabins.

On the second day, participants were taken on board a 23.3 metre, 56.6-tonne amphibious landing craft for a launch and recovery activity from HMAS Adelaide’s large stern dock.

Exercise Boss Lift participants were then transferred ashore in the Navy’s MRH-90 Taipan multi role helicopters before donning protective gear to participate in fire and flooding control activities at the Royal Australian Navy School of Survivability and Ship Safety.

HMAS Creswell Commanding Officer, Captain Charles Huxtable, RAN, gave a tour of his Jervis Bay training base and hosted dinner in the wardroom with Navy’s new Reserve members who were completing their entry course.

The exercise concluded at nearby HMAS Albatross, home of the Fleet Air Arm, with a tour of 808 Squadron and its MRH-90 helicopters. This part of the visit was conducted by a Naval Reserve member who is employed in the civil aviation industry. Finally there was a visit to 723 Squadron hosted by the Commanding Officer, Commander Bruce Willington, RAN. This included time in the pilot’s seat of a sophisticated MH-60R Romeo helicopter flight simulator and on the ground in a virtual reality ground trainer.

The civilian employers said that the experience exposed them to the leadership qualities of the Royal Australian Navy and demonstrated the benefits of employing Australian Defence Force Reserves in their organisations.