Fleet Electronic Warfare trainees graduate

This article has photo gallery Published on Ms Natalie Staples (author), ABIS Bonny Gassner (photographer)

Location(s): HMAS Watson

Topic(s): Training, HMAS Watson

Electronic Warfare Graduation 347 held at HMAS Watson. (photo: ABIS Bonny Gassner)
Electronic Warfare Graduation 347 held at HMAS Watson.

The first electronic warfare course combining submarine and surface fleet trainees graduated from the home of Navy’s warfare training on Sydney Harbour’s south head, HMAS Watson on 5 May.
Electronic warfare is the ability to collect electronic intelligence across the electromagnet spectrum and 12 sailors undertook the 17-week course that taught the basics.
Chief Petty Officer Electronics Warfare Justin Downey-Price, Chief Instructor in Electronic Warfare at the School of Maritime Warfare said the combined course has delivered a base level of integration between the two branches.
“There used to be no real interaction between the electronic warfare submariners and electronic warfare surface sailors,” he said.
“The submariners were taught in the west and surface sailors in the east. Now the Navy can generate greater collective efforts in the field.
“The basic course is the same, so by combining the two we gain benefits not only in resourcing but we find the students get consistency with their training,” Chief Petty Officer Downey-Price said.
“If at a later date the students want to pursue a career in the other aspects of electronic warfare, they will also find it easier to transition.”
Seaman Shannon Stevens, one of the surface trainees said she learnt a lot on course.
“It was really interesting and challenging at the same time,” Seaman Stevens said.
“Naturally the surface and submarine electronic warfare trainees go on to work on different platforms, so I wouldn’t have had the chance to meet half the people on course if it wasn’t combined.
“One day I hope to serve on a destroyer but straight out of training I expect I’ll be posted to an Adelaide class frigate,” Seaman Stevens said.
The basic course includes theory, practical analysis and reporting.