HMAS Watson ready for redevelopment

Published on LEUT Anthony Martin (author), ABIS Leo Baumgartner (photographer)

Location(s): HMAS Watson, NSW

Topic(s): HMAS Watson

An aerial view of Royal Australian Navy establishment HMAS Watson, Sydney. (photo: ABIS Leo Baumgartner)
An aerial view of Royal Australian Navy establishment HMAS Watson, Sydney.

Major redevelopment works are about to commence at HMAS Watson, Navy’s principal warfare and navigation training establishment.

The role of HMAS Watson, as the home of Training Authority Maritime Warfare, is to prepare officers and sailors of the Royal Australian Navy to be able to fight and win at sea.

Watson facilitates training for approximately 1300 personnel each year, with course lengths ranging from weeks to 12 months in duration.

The Commanding Officer of HMAS Watson, Captain John Stavridis says the redevelopment work is quite significant and will be of benefit to Navy and the community.

“To ensure we continue to support high-end warfare and navigation training outcomes, HMAS Watson needs facilities that appropriately support current and future training requirements” he said.

The project will deliver a new training precinct, new living-in accommodation for 236 trainees, a medical clinic, and upgrades to existing water, electrical and communication services, base security and galleys. 

“The redevelopment will provide contemporary, fit for purpose training facilities and functional support facilities, to ensure our people are able to develop a fighting superiority at sea,” Captain Stavridis said.

An overview of the scope of works for the HMAS Watson Redevelopment is superimposed over an aerial photograph of HMAS Watson.

An overview of the scope of works for the HMAS Watson Redevelopment is superimposed over an aerial photograph of HMAS Watson.

HMAS Watson will celebrate 75 years of service in 2020. Located at Sydney’s South Head, Watson was commissioned as the Royal Australian Navy's Radar Training School on 14 March 1945.

Watson was named after Watsons Bay, which in turn was named after Robert Watson, the Quartermaster of HMS Sirius, a ship of the First Fleet.

Watson provides basic and advanced training for the Combat System category and Junior Seaman Officers in ships handling, navigation and tactics. 

Advanced training for Principal Warfare Officers, and newly appointed Commanding and Executive Officers, is also conducted at the base. 

Construction is scheduled to commence in February 2020, with completion due by mid-2026.

For more information, please visit the HMAS Watson Redevelopment public website at https://defence.gov.au/id/HMAS-Watson/.