More than 50 Australian Navy Cadets and staff experienced HMAS Darwin’s capability first hand when the group visited the warship alongside Garden Island, Sydney recently.
Arriving from Sydney Harbour Training Ship Sydney onboard a Defence Maritime Services working boat, the cadets were able to view HMA Ships Success, Canberra, Adelaide, Warramunga and Darwin from the water.
Once onboard Darwin the group was welcomed by Executive Officer Lieutenant Jennifer Parker and given some information about the ship and her history, before being split into groups for ship tours.
The cadets were in awe over the ships main armament, the Mark 13 guided missile launching system and vertical launch system and the ability to shoot missiles further away than what they could see.
Able Seaman Combat Systems Operator James Knight guided the cadets through the Operations Room.
“I showed the cadets the different communications systems, tactical and radar displays, and explained how each person has a different, yet important job to keep the ship in the war,” he said.
The cadets also experienced the bridge and learnt about the 24/7 nature of watch-keeping duties, with look outs, an officer of the watch, quartermaster, and communicators.
As the groups made their way down to forward repair, some dressed up in a fire suit and donned an open circuit compressed air breathing apparatus.
After describing how fire fighting works on Darwin, Leading Seaman Naval Police Coxswain Matthew Briggs explained how everyone onboard is trained to fight fires, stop floods, and evacuate casualties from a toxic hazard.
After the tour, the cadets were provided with a ride on the sea boat with Leading Seaman Boatswains Mate Sarah Flanders explaining more about life in the Navy.
"The cadets were inquisitive, keen to interact with the crew, and had a great time onboard," she said.
"Their enthusiasm was contagious, and they left the ship with beaming faces. Hopefully we will see some of them again in a few years as new members of the Royal Australian Navy."