Meet Chief Petty Officer Physical Trainer Brad Walsh – NUSHIP Canberra’s Training Coordinator.
With around 360 personnel onboard a new platform, with new systems and structure, the training aspects of achieving and maintaining the required skills sets onboard Canberra is a huge job.
The Training Department is responsible for all training onboard Canberra. This involves a myriad of components including identifying ongoing training requirements for positions and then meeting them, as well as liaison with external agencies, coordinating on the job training and the ‘introduction into service’ training for LHD personnel at Mascot.
As Canberra’s Training Coordinator, CPO Walsh works directly to the Training Officer and closely with the Command Team.
“A large part of the job is Damage Control, supporting regulators to ensure course and on-job training is progressing as it should be and driving individual readiness compliance through a holistic approach,” CPO Walsh said.
CPO Walsh will be training up the ship’s Damage Control Instructors and will be an independent training approving authority onboard.
“By having an RAN skills assessor onboard, we can be assured of an open and transparent process in terms of people achieving the required skill level for their jobs.
“My biggest challenge as Training Coordinator is probably the same as everybody else’s - bringing a new platform online, with new structure, systems and position requirements. With the larger ship’s company, it really makes the job a great challenge.
“Although, once onboard, when ‘canteen’ is piped, another big challenge in such a big ship will be making it to the canteen before it closes,” he joked.
CPO Walsh said that the role was varied and he was able to use his skills well in the role.
“Being a PT, you learn such versatile and transferable skills that you find yourself often being given tasks that don’t specifically belong to any particular department, but need to get done. I also use my core skills as a PT to contribute to the physical training requirements onboard.”
After 26 years in the Navy, CPO Walsh said he is looking forward to getting back to sea.
“I’m looking forward to the sea time onboard Canberra. Being a PT is a great thing - you always see the sunrise and sunset and hear “wakey wakey” being piped. A lot of people miss that opportunity and don’t appreciate where they are.
“This will be my seventh sea-going platform and will likely be my last stint at sea after 26 years in the Navy. I’m going to enjoy and appreciate all it has to offer.”