Canberra crew spends time at sea on NUSHIP systems

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Christopher Thornton (author)

Topic(s): HMAS Canberra (L02)

MIDN Emma Van Overdyk plays a role during a Boarding Exercise (BOARDEX) onboard ESPS Cantabria. (photo: Unknown)
MIDN Emma Van Overdyk plays a role during a Boarding Exercise (BOARDEX) onboard ESPS Cantabria.

Over the past two weeks, Royal Australian Navy technical sailors identified for NUSHIP Canberra have been familiarising themselves with ship systems common to Canberra, onboard Spanish Ship ESPS Cantabria.

Australian sea riding sailors have been working with their Spanish counterparts while Cantabria operated in the East Australian Exercise Area in support of HMA Ships Perth and Melbourne. The hands-on experience is enabling the Australian sailors to learn the specifications and operating systems common to the Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD), such as the Integrated Platform Management System (IPMS), bow thrusters and degaussing systems.

Following the sea ride, the sailors will complete Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) courses.

ABMT Matthew Meiklejohn says he is confident his fellow sailors will be well prepared for the arrival of NUSHIP Canberra after operating many of her operating systems in a real life.

“From my experience in Cantabria, I feel that I have gained a leg up for my courses. For example, I learnt about killcards on the IPMS system and what the real life implications are of choosing the right ones. Overall, it has been an eye opener as these systems are quite different to ours,” said ABMT Meiklejohn.

Along with familiarisation training and task journal progression, Aussie sailors are gaining exposure to how a foreign Navy operates, and are having some great experiences along the way. During the sea ride, RAN personnel have taken part in Live Fire exercises, Damage Control Exercises (DC EX) and the conduct of a dual Replenishment at Sea (RAS).

To date, Cantabria has had 130 RAN sea riders embark since her deployment from Spain, with more personnel programmed to embark before the ship departs Australia in November.

Cantabria is now ramping up the tempo as she will be participating in exercise TALISMAN SABRE 13 in July, during which she will continue to conduct training for RAN personnel, and exercise with a number of RAN and United States Navy (USN) units.  

Cantabria is operating with the RAN until November 2013 and is homeported in Garden Island, Sydney. Her deployment will conclude with her participation in the Australian International Fleet Review in October.