Participants the recent Sea Power Conference 2017 in Sydney experienced a taste of Navy training at the adjoining Pacific 2017 International Maritime Exposition.
Showcasing new technology, the Navy’s own Training Force stand was a popular exhibit, garnering interest from foreign navies, Defence contractors, and virtual reality enthusiasts.
Navy uses virtual reality to train flight deck marshalling - for increased safety, decreased cost and to train emergency response actions.
Visitors were able to see a helicopter land in front of them on the deck of an amphibious assault ship from the perspective of a flight deck marshaller.
Also on display were the virtual walkthroughs for both an amphibious assault ship and a Collins class submarine, however, it was the submarine virtual reality that attracted the most interest.
Commodore Training, Commodore Justin Jones said that Navy shaped up with commercial operators.
“Our submarine system sets the benchmark and it’s great to see that Training Force is cutting edge when it comes to the use of virtual reality in training,” he said.
Officer in Charge, Training Support and Governance at Training Authority Submarines, Lieutenant Commander James Robertson, was part of the team on hand to discuss the technologies.
“It has delivered 100 percent pass rates among our trainees.
“We are looking forward to expanding the use of the technology,” Lieutenant Commander Robertson said.
Visitors at the stand were able to undertake the tasks of a marine technician operating the diving and safety console and experience the cramped conditions without stepping foot inside a submarine.
Also part of the Training Force team were Officer in Charge Training Technology Support Unit, Lieutenant Commander Sarah Mills and Training Systems Officer, Lieutenant Kira Thomas-Schumacher.
“Innovating Navy training was the way to connect with new learners and virtual reality is just one element,” Lieutenant Commander Mills said.
“By innovating the way we train, we can become more effective and more efficient, we can save on platform wear and tear, and we can undertake training anywhere at any time.
“On top of that, our new learners have grown up in the digital age and we are showing them we are right there at the forefront of learning innovation and technology,” she said.
Lieutenant Thomas-Schumacher said Navy had progressed many of its courses into a blended learning model.
“We are finding our developers and instructors really want to push the boundaries to experience what’s possible in an online learning environment,” Lieutenant Thomas-Schumacher said.