Largest graduation class of Maritime Warfare Officers enters the fleet

Published on AB Steven Bruni (author), ABIS Nicolas Gonzalez (photographer)

Sub Lieutenant Nicholas Carter (left) and Sub Lieutenant Luke Richmond stand outside the Ritchie Building with their Bridge Warfare Certificates at the Junior Warfare Application Course 61 Graduation Ceremony held at HMAS Watson, Sydney.  (photo: ABIS Nicolas Gonzalez)
Sub Lieutenant Nicholas Carter (left) and Sub Lieutenant Luke Richmond stand outside the Ritchie Building with their Bridge Warfare Certificates at the Junior Warfare Application Course 61 Graduation Ceremony held at HMAS Watson, Sydney.

Thirty-four Maritime Warfare Officers graduated from the Junior Warfare Application Course (JWAC) in a ceremony held at HMAS Watson, Sydney, recently.
 
The two year course is one of the most intense offered by the Royal Australian Navy, teaching junior officers how to drive and fight Australia’s fleet of warships. 
 
Director Training Authority - Maritime Warfare, Captain Craig Powell, said the graduating class was largest the Navy had seen. 
 
“This ends their time as trainees in the Royal Australian Navy and, as a group, Junior Warfare Application Course 61 has had the best result Watson has seen in a long time,” he said.
 
“They graduate today with 34 members which is the most the Navy has ever seen.” 
 
Navy will post the officers into seagoing warships where they will work as the Commanding Officer’s representative, responsible for the control and safety of the vessels at sea and in port. 
 
Sub Lieutenants Luke Richmond and Nicholas Carter were among the graduating class. Sub Lieutenant Richmond said he could not wait to join the fleet.
 
“All those hours of study and hard work have finally paid off. I am looking forward to consolidating my training at sea in my next posting,” he said.
 
Sub Lieutenant Carter said graduating was a dream come true. 
 
“This shows you can achieve the impossible if you have a positive team around you,” said Sub Lieutenant Carter. 
 
Maritime Warfare Officers are the only officers in the Navy who can gain command of the warships and submarines.
 
The Junior Warfare Application Course is conducted in four phases.
 
Phase One is held at Watson and teaches the basics of a Maritime Warfare Officer's employment, such as Officer of the Watch duties, Relative Velocity and Rules for the Prevention of Collisions at Sea. 
 
Trainees spend 22 weeks at sea on a major fleet unit consolidating what they have learned for Phase Two.
 
The officers return to Watson for Phase Three where they are taught more complex navigation, bridge management and mariner skills, including a period of training in the bridge simulator.
 
They are then posted to a minor war vessel for 22 weeks to prepare for Fleet Board and the award of the Navigation Watch keeping Certificate.
 
Phase Four is 28 weeks at Watson, teaching students complex war fighting techniques.