The Royal Australian Navy is providing junior officers with a unique training experience that provides a greater level of hands-on application on one of the fleet’s largest ships.
Navy Training Force has worked with RH Marine to deliver its Integrated Bridge Systems Operator Training - an integral component of Officer of the Watch training - via online platforms ahead of postings to HMAS Choules next year.
The training, offered through Microsoft Teams video conferencing, includes lessons on bridge control, ship navigation and vessel monitoring.
The program has historically been delivered face-to-face in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, but due to COVID-19 travel restrictions was redesigned to allow for continued capability through virtual means, while Choules is alongside in Sydney.
Trainees have the added benefit of directly applying their newfound skills to practical scenarios on Choules while undergoing training - a feat not experienced by previous trainees due to the remoteness of the course.
Sub Lieutenant Simon Fenech is posting to the ship next year and said the online training format had been beneficial.
“It has been very helpful in giving us a head start,” Sub Lieutenant Fenech said.
“The training is easy to dial into, and the instructors provide clear and succinct explanations of concepts. Doing the course online is very useful, this is valuable training.”
RH Marine is a Netherlands-based contractor specialising in system integration and innovation of electrical and automation systems in the maritime industry.
It has been delivering Integrated Bridge Systems Operator Training to Navy personnel since Choules was acquired in 2011.
Sub Lieutenant Natasha Price said the altered training was applicable to both new and existing personnel.
“This training is really useful for first-time users of the system and reinforces knowledge for experienced users,” Sub Lieutenant Price said.
“The method of delivery and using the bridge systems while instructors are discussing theory is really useful.
“When experienced users complete the training, they will discover something new, which is excellent, and we will use that knowledge when we go to sea.”
Transitioning the course from in-person to online has also enabled Navy to host larger trainee classes and reduce some associated costs.