Creswell fit to fight

This article has photo gallery Published on LCDR Jocelyn Blowfield (author), LEUT Matthew Nowaczyk (photographer), LCDR Jocelyn Blowfield (photographer)

Location(s): HMAS Creswell, NSW

Topic(s): HMAS Creswell, Physical Training Instructor, Fit to Fight

HMAS Canberra landing craft with HMAS Creswell personnel as they set out on the first stage of the annual Command Challenge. (photo: )
HMAS Canberra landing craft with HMAS Creswell personnel as they set out on the first stage of the annual Command Challenge.

The ship’s company of HMAS Creswell has taken up the challenge to be Fit to Fight by embracing increased physical and adventure training opportunities throughout 2017 and into the new year.

Navy training courses include a physical element in their program but it can be difficult for staff at training establishments to take time out and focus on personal physical and mental resilience.

The introduction of Command-led staff physical training three days a week has increased attendance and improved overall fitness standards.

Head Training Systems, HMAS Creswell, Lieutenant Commander Justin Mangan found the program to be beneficial to staff at the training establishment.

“For those unable to attend the morning session due to work commitments, there is an increased acceptance of taking time out anytime during the day to attend the gym,” Lieutenant Commander Mangan said.

An increased focus on adventure training was another aspect of Creswell’s fit to fight program.

In late 2017, a small team comprising members of ship’s company undertook a 10 hour, 12km, 1560 metre ascent trek to conquer The Castle in Morton National Park as well as a three day 51km kayak through the upper Shoalhaven River.

Lieutenant Shane Wallace said the trip motto was “it’s not meant to be easy.”

“And it delivered,” he said.

The HMAS Creswell Command Challenge is an annual event that takes full advantage of the base’s beautiful location in Jervis Bay. In 2017 ship’s company competed in sea kayaking, running and cycling stages between local landmarks, finishing at the town of Huskisson.

The base’s ten-week fitness challenge led by Lieutenant Sally Casey and Leading Seaman Physical Training Instructor Jake Garrick was also included in the fit to fight program and focused upon increasing individual fitness levels of ship’s company.

Chief Petty Officer Physical Training Instructor Brad Walsh said attendance at staff sessions has been steadily increasing throughout the program.

“As a Physical Training Instructor, it gives me professional and personal pride that my team mates are enjoying exercise and working together as a team,” he said.