Junior officers take to the sea under sail in STS Young Endeavour

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Nic Hawkins (author)

Topic(s): STS Young Endeavour, Training

Maritime Warfare Officer Course participants on deck aboard STS Young Endeavour. (photo: )
Maritime Warfare Officer Course participants on deck aboard STS Young Endeavour.

Maritime Warfare Officers recently completed their first at sea training program in the Royal Australian Navy’s Sail Training Ship Young Endeavour.

Fifty Junior Officers undertook an intensive 3-day training program at sea between 17-28 June, to launch their Maritime Warfare Officer Course.

Due to social distancing requirements, the group was unable to complete the training cruise section of the New Entry Officer Course that was scheduled for earlier this year while they were undergoing the New Entry Officers’ Course at HMAS Creswell.

Embarking from HMAS Watson, the modified training program in STS Young Endeavour was designed to be delivered to small groups by the vessel’s Navy staff crew.

Maritime Warfare Officer Course participants onboard STS Young Endeavour.

Maritime Warfare Officer Course participants onboard STS Young Endeavour.

Learning in the square-rigged tall ship gave the participants a practical crash course in seamanship, navigation, rules of the road and watch-on-deck routines, with each group taking control of the ship on the final day of training.

Midshipman James Bednaic relished the chance to navigate from Broken Bay back to Sydney Harbour.

“To be put in that situation actually tests you and shows what you can do, and shows the team that you’ve worked with over the last 72 hours what you’re capable of.

“It was truly an amazing experience,” he said.

Commanding Officer of Young Endeavour, Lieutenant Commander Andrew Callander said the ship’s staff crew worked hard to deliver a program that met the particular training objectives of Maritime Warfare Officer’s Course, whilst also meeting social distancing requirements.

“Sailing aboard Young Endeavour is a powerful and unique experience and one which has enriched the training program for these new recruits,” Lieutenant Commander Callander said.

“The focused training schedule allowed our dedicated staff crew to share their expertise and give the junior officers a better practical understanding of life at sea.”

Lieutenant Commander Scott Mason, the Officer in Charge of the Maritime Warfare Officer’s Course, commended the efforts of the Young Endeavour team for ensuring these Junior Officers could continue their training at this time.

“Together with the Young Endeavour Youth Scheme we were able to deliver a one-of-a-kind experience for these new officers.

“For many this was their first seagoing experience, and it has been an exciting and highly motivating way to kick-start their Maritime Warfare Officer training in the Royal Australian Navy,” Lieutenant Commander Mason said.

Midshipman Monica Ward left Young Endeavour feeling energised and highly recommended the use of the ship as part of the Maritime Warfare Officer’s Course program.

“Being on a vessel where you are given practical experience is really valuable for anyone aspiring to a career as a Maritime Warfare Officer,” Midshipman Ward said.

Following the completion of the training program, Young Endeavour returned to HMAS Waterhen.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming the next Young Endeavour Youth Crew aboard and I have no doubt that they will appreciate the experience even more following the recent period of social distancing restrictions,” Lieutenant Commander Callander said.

Since 1988, more than 14,000 young Australians from all parts of the nation have sailed in Young Endeavour, taking part in an inspiring youth development experience that increases self-awareness, develops teamwork and leadership skills and creates a strong sense of social responsibility.

Visit the Young Endeavour Youth Scheme website for further information and to keep up-to-date when the next voyage dates are announced.