Certifying a commitment to training

Published on LEUT Jessica Craig (author), ABIS Jarrod Mulvihill (photographer)

Topic(s): Naval College, HMAS Canberra (L02), Navy Gap Year, Fleet Certification Period

Royal Australian Navy officers Sub Lieutenant Nancy Cotton, left, and Midshipman Sharni Hill on the quarterdeck of HMAS Canberra during Fleet Certification Period 2020. (photo: ABIS Jarrod Mulvihill)
Royal Australian Navy officers Sub Lieutenant Nancy Cotton, left, and Midshipman Sharni Hill on the quarterdeck of HMAS Canberra during Fleet Certification Period 2020.

While the crew of HMAS Canberra undertakes its Unit Readiness Evaluation during Fleet Certification Period 2020, a new generation of personnel are also onboard training to enhance their contribution to Navy’s growing capability.

Fleet Certification Period 2020 (FCP20), aims to test the platforms and personnel involved to certify that participating units are ready to deploy on behalf of the Australian Government. This has proved an optimal time for Gap Year and new Reserve Officers to build on their on their Navy knowledge and actively participate in ship life.

Sub Lieutenant Nancy Cotton from the Reserve Entry Officers’ Course, currently undertaking her Sea Training Deployment, said the experience has given her an appreciation of how the team works.

“Having just gone through HMAS Creswell and digesting theory in the class room, to be able to see it in action and participate helps put the two together, and for me shows that the team does work and works well,” Sub Lieutenant Cotton said.

“I’m looking forward to being involved in the ship’s culture and learning as much as I can.

“From my perspective, it’s the people and training which are the primary deliverables in continuing to meet Navy’s mission to fight and win at sea.

“I can really see that both by witnessing Canberra’s crew undertaking its Unit Readiness Evaluation, and through us trainees completing our sea training on board,” Sub Lieutenant Cotton said.

Midshipman Sharni Hill, who is undertaking the Gap Year Program, agreed that the training opportunity is integral to garnering a real-life understanding about roles onboard, and how personnel pull together to deliver an agile and adaptive force.

“It’s really interesting to see the team work and how everyone comes together to make everything run efficiently,” Midshipman Hill said.

“It makes you appreciate the capabilities required to deliver a working Navy, various people explain it onshore but you don’t really understand until you see it in action.”

As part of the Gap Year Program, Midshipman Hill and her colleagues undertake work experience in various departments to help them make a decision on what role within the Navy might best suit them.

Midshipman Hill said this helps ensure Gap Year entrants know what role they’re best suited to, therefore assuring a commitment to the positions they take on for personal and organisational benefit.

“I think it’s really important to do work experience to see what the departments do, as it gives you that third eye perspective and ability to watch and take all the information in and make an educated decision from there,” Midshipman Hill said.

“I am enjoying trying each role and appreciating the importance of individual outputs in a team environment.”

FCP20 is Navy’s first major training activity for the year, involving more than 2000 military personnel, including the trainees onboard Canberra.

FCP20 will run until 6 March 2020.