There are many memorable moments in an officer’s naval career, but few come close to the day that a Maritime Warfare Officer (MWO) receives their Primary Qualification. Upon achieving this important milestone, MWOs can hold both day and night Bridge watches onboard Royal Australian Navy ships, independently or in company, and in times of peace and war.
It was a “very” good Good Friday for Sub Lieutenant Paul McCluskey this year. He was awarded with his Primary Qualification by the Commanding Officer of HMAS Sydney (IV), Commander Karl Brinckmann, while the warship was briefly alongside Cairns on April 18. Sydney was in transit to Operation RESOLUTE when the necessity of a refuelling stop provided the ideal opportunity for the presentation to occur.
Sub Lieutenant McCluskey joined the Royal Australian Navy in July 2008. As a member of the third class to go through the new system of training Maritime Warfare Officers, he received his Bridge Warfare Certificate in December 2013, in the Bridge Simulator at HMAS Watson.
While the road has not been easy for Sub Lieutenant McCluskey, having to undergo training while the two systems were transitioning, he had a rare opportunity to compare the two and see how beneficial the new system is to MWO training.
He said that he found the new system to be invaluable to his progression towards his PQ.
“The new system has put me in good stead to continue on my career path towards becoming a Principle Warfare Officer - Air Warfare. I look forward to consolidating onboard HMAS Sydney (IV), and then commencing training to become a Fighter Controller.”
While on Operation RESOLUTE, Sub Lieutenant McCluskey will have an opportunity to consolidate his training in a real operational setting.