IFR personnel fly through testing time

Published on LCDR Victoria Rendall (author), ABIS Cassie McBride (photographer)

Location(s): Sydney, NSW

Topic(s): International Fleet Review

(L-R) Leading Senior Constable Michael Morris, ABCIS Rebecca O'Keefe, Philip Holliday, Richard Lorraine, Lieutenant Nathan Cole and Andre Uljee in the IFR Command Information Centre. (photo: ABIS Cassie McBride)
(L-R) Leading Senior Constable Michael Morris, ABCIS Rebecca O'Keefe, Philip Holliday, Richard Lorraine, Lieutenant Nathan Cole and Andre Uljee in the IFR Command Information Centre.

Royal Australian Navy personnel supporting the Command Information Centre during the International Fleet Review were put through their paces during a scenario based exercise on Friday 20 September.

Exercise MARKUS II was a functional exercise designed to test the interoperability and coordination between Navy and various state and federal agencies, and to highlight any risk areas with time to adapt if necessary. The exercise activated the NSW Government Coordination and Police Operations Centres, plus the Police Maritime and Sydney Harbour Operations Centres.

“We threw in a wide variety of scenarios in a short space of time,” explained Navy’s lead coordinator, Lieutenant Commander Rick Stone.

“From military ship movements to train delays, water pollution issues, civilian medical emergencies, force protection issues and finally an in-flight emergency that tested both the maritime and land-based responses.”

“Staff at all four locations passed with flying colours. We agreed that we’re better placed to fully understand the control, coordination and communication arrangements for the IFR now,” said LCDR Stone.

Teams of personnel stood up the CIC at HMAS Kuttabul, and the NSW Government coordination centres that will be active during key events of the IFR, which runs for the period 3-11 October.

The variety of issues, incidents, and considerations ranging from minor to significant were injected to practise liaison between the Navy and stakeholders’ centres.

The scenarios generated considerations for on-harbour and aviation operations, the impact of events on the supporting Sydney transport infrastructure and landholders, security related issues, and one critical incident that required implementation of a crisis response framework.

“Tight coordination and good communication will contribute to the success of the amazing events that make up the IFR,” said LCDR Stone.

Nearly 100 Navy and other agency personnel were involved in Exercise MARKUS II, including role players who provided testing scenarios and umpires who controlled the exercise and reviewed the performance at all locations.

Imagery is available on the Royal Australian Navy Media Library at http://images.navy.gov.au/S20131489.