Sydney's Marine Technicians awarded for excellence

Published on SBLT Bianca Wise (author), ABIS Tom Gibson (photographer)

Location(s): Fleet Base East, NSW

Topic(s): Navy Engineering, Fleet Support Unit - South East

Navy Engineering Challenge Manager Captain Mick Finlayson RAN (centre), awards a full set of tools to each member of the the winning team of the 2013 Navy Engineering Challenge Marine Technician category at Fleet Support Unit, HMAS Kuttabul. L-R: Petty Officer Scott Giffin, Leading Seaman Jamie Wright, Able Seaman Ashley Davidson and Able Seaman Dean Saffrett. (photo: ABIS Tom Gibson)
Navy Engineering Challenge Manager Captain Mick Finlayson RAN (centre), awards a full set of tools to each member of the the winning team of the 2013 Navy Engineering Challenge Marine Technician category at Fleet Support Unit, HMAS Kuttabul. L-R: Petty Officer Scott Giffin, Leading Seaman Jamie Wright, Able Seaman Ashley Davidson and Able Seaman Dean Saffrett.

The Marine Technician (MT) Champions of the 2013 Navy Engineering Challenge were awarded their prize last week, during a presentation at Fleet Support Unit (FSU) - South East.

With a lightning time of 1:18, a team of four MTs took out the top prize during the national final which was held at the Garden Island Heritage Centre on 4 December 2013.

Petty Officer Scott Giffin, Leading Seaman Jamie Wright, Able Seamen Ashley Davidson and Dean Saffrett were proud to take out the mechanical section of the challenge in its inaugural year.

“We wanted to win and we work well as a team so decided to get together and enter the challenge,” explained LS Wright, “overall we were just aiming to improve ourselves.”

“I think the challenge is a great opportunity. It gets you closer with your work mates, even though when you’re competing you can’t see what they are doing or where they are up to. The best thing is, we’ve got the bragging rights associated with being the first team ever to win the challenge.”

The winning team had a choice between two major prizes, a Sidchrome tool kit valued at $5000 for each member - or an overseas training trip.

“It was hard to coordinate time when we could all make the trip together, so we decided on the individual tool kit each, it’s a great prize, and it means I can work on a lot more things at home,” LS Wright said.

Launched last year, the Navy Engineering Challenge was created to promote teamwork, skill of hand and job planning skills for technical sailors.

The overall challenge consists of three sub-elements to test technical competency, including mechanical, electronics and aviation.

Captain Mike Finlayson, the officer in charge of the Navy Engineering Challenge, said those who compete in the mechanical competition need to perform with not only ability and speed, but planning and teamwork in order to achieve a winning result.

“The MT teams must partially strip down and rebuild a diesel engine in the fastest time possible; they get one practice run with up to six hours and then a timed run which is judged locally by a senior MT.

“Each team competes at a unit level through regional finals with the fastest regional winners competing again at the national final.”

The winning units from the 2013 National Final were FSU-South East, 816 Squadron and FSU-West respectively representing their domains of mechanical, electronics and aviation.

The 2014 Navy Engineering Challenge will kick off this month with regional events to be held through to October and the national final in December 2014.

Imagery is available on the Royal Australian Navy Media Library at http://images.navy.gov.au/S20140430.