Navy personnel at the West Head Gunnery School in Victoria have been praised for their innovation to resolve an issue that could have arisen as the Royal Australian Navy’s shipbuilding program gathers pace.
The Gunnery Range Management Team is responsible for the coordination of gunnery training across the Fleet and Officer-In-Charge, Lieutenant Commander Peter Arnold, said conducting training activities was becoming increasingly difficult.
“This was because of new ships joining the Fleet with more complex weapon systems,” Lieutenant Commander Arnold said.
“A combination of weapons courses and Fleet unit training means that West Head will provide more than 140 weeks of training this year.”
The solution to the increased training requirement was to streamline the courses on offer.
“We took ownership of both operator and maintainer courses to ensure they were more coordinated and ship-focused,” Lieutenant Commander Arnold said.
“That way, we could eliminate any double-up and give our course participants a more positive outcome.”
Warrant Officer Boatswain Andrew Freame works in Navy’s cultural change program, NGN and said the officers and sailors had embodied a number of Navy’s signature behaviours.
“This was a team effort,” Warrant Officer Freame said.
“The range fixed a problem by taking action. They challenged and innovated and they did it on their own initiative and at no cost.”
Lieutenant Commander Arnold agreed that a new way of thinking was required.
“The greatest challenge is to break out of the mindset of having ‘always done it this way’ and to be outcome focused and not process-driven, without compromising safety or seaworthiness,” he said.
“I have noticed that people are gaining the confidence to apply the signature behaviours to everyday problems in order to come up with practical solutions.”