Survival Training Antarctic style

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Jared Willans (author)

Location(s): Davis Station, Antarctica

Topic(s): Training, Operation SOUTHERN DISCOVERY, Maritime Geospatial Warfare Unit

Members of Navy’s Maritime Geospatial Warfare Unit conduct field survival training at Davis Station, Antarctica. (photo: )
Members of Navy’s Maritime Geospatial Warfare Unit conduct field survival training at Davis Station, Antarctica.

Members of Navy’s Maritime Geospatial Warfare Unit deployed to Davis research station in Antarctica recently, where they completed mandated field survival training and small boats induction, prior to commencing survey tasks in support of Operation SOUTHERN DISCOVERY.

Field survival training is completed by all personnel operating outside of station limits to ensure they have the skills required to survive in the extreme environment of the Antarctic continent.

The small boats induction course instructs coxswains on the various dangers present in the waters surrounding Davis station.

The field training involved an 8km hike, instruction on how to use the various items in the survival kits and an overnight bivouac.

The weather was a balmy -7 degrees Celsius and despite the arduous terrain, all members enjoyed themselves thoroughly.

The small boats induction was conducted in the waters surrounding Davis station and included how to assess sea ice and techniques on how to manoeuvre through sea ice and around icebergs. 

The small boat induction was definitely an eye opener for coxswain Leading Seaman Hydrographic Survey Operator Tanya Maksimovic, who for the first time in her career had to drive around icebergs and dodge swimming penguins.

Leading Seaman Marine Technician Ben Seehars said that the field survival training was an unbelievable experience.

“To see Antarctica from that vantage point will never be forgotten,” he said.

With all the required training and inductions complete, the team then undertook survey operations in Antarctica.