Operational exposure enhances studies

This article has photo gallery Published on ABML-C Steven Bruni (author and photographer)

Location(s): Canberra, ACT

Topic(s): Australian Defence Force Academy

Midshipman Izaak Gurney, left, and Midshipman Jake Moir from the Australian Defence Force Academy in front of the crest. (photo: ABML-C Steven Bruni)
Midshipman Izaak Gurney, left, and Midshipman Jake Moir from the Australian Defence Force Academy in front of the crest.

With their heads currently in the books and an operational deployment each under their belt, Midshipmen Jake Moir and Izaak Gurney are not your average Australian Defence Force Academy students.

Army and Air Force Academy students complete three years of military training combined with a university degree and then proceed into the workforce, but Navy trainees spend a year in the fleet prior to studying in Canberra.

Midshipman Gurney joined the Navy as a Maritime Warfare Officer in January 2013, starting his leadership and officer training at HMAS Creswell as part of New Entry Officers’ Course 48. Soon after commencing his specialist training, Midshipman Gurney was given the opportunity to fly to the Middle East and meet frigate, HMAS Newcastle, on Operation SLIPPER.

“I was 19 at the time and only new to the Navy, it was exciting experience to see what the Navy is doing in and operational capacity," he said.

“Being deployed to the Middle East in Newcastle was an amazing opportunity and allowed me to get an early exposure to what I can expect once I complete my training and education at the Australian Defence Force Academy and joint the fleet.”

Midshipmen Gurney is currently studying for a Bachelor of Science majoring in Geography and Information Studies through the University of New South Wales campus at the Academy, and he is looking forward to completing his last year and hopes for additional operational service in the future.

While Midshipmen Gurney had an opportunity to deploy to the Middle East, Midshipman Moir was in northern Australian waters onboard HMAS Choules for Operation RESOLUTE.

Operation RESOLUTE is the Australian Defence Force's contribution to the whole-of-government effort to protect Australia's borders and offshore maritime interests.

While embarked in Choules, Midshipman Moir assisted the ship's company in damage control exercises, which included fire fighting, and learning how to stop flooding in compartments.

“Being at the Australian Defence Force Academy is a very different environment to being out in the fleet,” he said.

“I am glad I was given the opportunity to be deployed on Operation RESOLUTE, so early on in my career.

“The value of working together in an operational setting as well as the friends I have made along the way both on operation with Choules and here at the Australian Defence Force Academy makes me appreciate the important work the Navy is undertaking and it will assist me in continuing to develop myself as an officer in the Royal Australian Navy,” Midshipman Moir said.

Both officers are looking forward to going to sea again and to continue and complete their career goals. With an operational deployment under their belt both these Midshipmen will bring a great deal to their future ships and shipmates.