Newcastle hosts Air Warfare Destroyer Engineering Specialist

Published on SBLT Richard Norman (author), ABEW Courtney Irvine (photographer)

Mr Simon Wong from Defence Materiel Organisation looks through the Port Bridge Wing binoculars during his sea ride on HMAS Newcastle. (photo: ABEW Courtney Irvine)
Mr Simon Wong from Defence Materiel Organisation looks through the Port Bridge Wing binoculars during his sea ride on HMAS Newcastle.

Defence Materiel Organisation engineer Mr Simon Wong believes his recent sea riding experience in the guided missile frigate  HMAS Newcastle has provided invaluable insight into what to expect when he conducts sea trials in NUSHIP Hobart next year.

Mr Wong is a Platform Systems Test Engineer specialising in an integrated platform management system will be installed on Navy's new guided missile destroyers (DDG) and landing helicopter docks (LHD).  The system allows for a high degree of monitoring, control and automation of platform systems on the ship and offers greater flexibility and supervision than previously  available to Navy personnel. 

Defence Materiel Organisation, along with Raytheon and Australian Submarine Corporation form the Air Warfare Destroyer Alliance which is responsible for Navy’s new destroyers Hobart, Brisbane and Sydney which are currently under construction at the Techport facility, South Australia.

Mr Wong joined Newcastle in his home town of Adelaide end October for her homeward bound journey to Sydney following her deployment around Australia.

Newcastle first exercised with HMA Ships Arunta and Sirius and HMNZS Te Kaha on departure from Adelaide and later in the week provided support to HMAS Success during its mission readiness evaluation off Jervis Bay on the NSW coast.

During the six days spent aboard Newcastle, Mr Wong watched a range of the ship's evolutions including heavy jackstay, replenishment at sea, helicopter vertical replenishment, damage control exercises, warfare exercises and de-ammunitioning. 

“It was great to see such a large number of Naval assets involved in the exercises and I was thoroughly impressed with the coordinated effort by all those involved,” Mr Wong said.

"I was able to witness first hand air warfare and anti-submarine warfare exercises in addition to daily engineering casualty control drills. There was also plenty of opportunity for me to interact with the ship's company and get to know the people and how they work to make the ship an effective team.

“During my stay with Newcastle I was treated with hospitality and as one of the crew with everyone trying their best to make my sea ride as educational and enjoyable as possible.

“This sea ride opportunity has been a humbling experience and has shown me how the Navy operates a guided missile frigate. The insight gained during this sea ride will assist me in the acceptance of the DDG platform when it undergoes its future sea trials,” Mr Wong said prior to departing.

Newcastle has returned home to Fleet Base East following a busy three months at sea contributing to Exercise KAKADU, Operation RESOLUTE, work ups and mission readiness evaluations and participating in Navy Week in South Australia.

Able Seaman Marine Technician Ben Seehars supervises Mr Simon Wong as he operates the Propulsion Control Console onboard HMAS Newcastle on her transit back to Fleet Base East, Sydney.

Able Seaman Marine Technician Ben Seehars supervises Mr Simon Wong as he operates the Propulsion Control Console onboard HMAS Newcastle on her transit back to Fleet Base East, Sydney.