First LHD Duty Watches certified

Published on LEUT Emily Kennedy (author), ABIS Bonny Gassner (photographer)

Location(s): Williamstown, VIC

NUSHIP Canberra and NUSHIP Adelaide sit alongside the Naval Dockyard Williamstown, Victoria.  (photo: ABIS Bonny Gassner)
NUSHIP Canberra and NUSHIP Adelaide sit alongside the Naval Dockyard Williamstown, Victoria.

The motivation and mood within NUSHIP Canberra’s ship’s company has lifted another notch after the ship’s first four duty watch teams were endorsed to take responsibility for the safety and security of the ship in harbour.

The Duty Watch is the team of people responsible for the safety and security of the ship when in harbour, while the majority of the ship’s company goes home or is ashore.
The Commanding Officer of the first Landing Helicopter Dock, Captain Jonathan Sadleir, said that he was proud of the effort and results achieved.
“The certification of our first duty watches has been the result of months of graduated training and exceptional commitment by our ship’s company,” said Captain Sadleir.
“Being a ship under construction, the teams have made the most of the intermittent access we have had to ensure that we are in a position to confidently demonstrate our knowledge and ability to manage incidents or emergencies that may arise.
“Duty Watch certification was the first step in an important journey with Sea Training Group between now and achieving full operational capability next year,” he said.
Canberra’s first four duty watches demonstrated their combat survivability knowledge and skills, observed by Navy's independent assessment team, Sea Training Group.
“I’m very proud of the ship’s company who have led the way in developing the philosophy, training program and procedures for the LHD,” said Captain Sadleir.
Sea Training Group assessed each Duty Watch on a major machinery space fire and a toxic hazard. Commander Sea Training Major Fleet Units, Commander Jonathan Ley said that it was evident that Canberra was well prepared.
“It was clearly evident that a significant amount of preparation had been conducted and the ship was both well postured and particularly receptive to training,” said Commander Ley.
“We ratified the standing operating procedures developed by the ship and have provide recommendations for initial improvement to the ship’s staff,” he said.
“Sea Training Group is committed to working alongside the ship's company of Canberra in bringing this impressive new capability into service; it is an exciting and challenging process that will require flexibility, initiative and drive. Advances in technology and the introduction of radically new systems will challenge established methods and trigger a review of training doctrine and standard operating procedures.
“My team, in conjunction with Canberra, will be working these issues through in the lead-up into Mariner Skills Evaluation in December 2014,” he said.  
The ship will depart Williamstown at the end of this month and arrive in its home port at Fleet Base East Sydney in early November.
The ship is focussed on embarking all stores and equipment in the ship in preparation for moving onboard before Canberra is formally commissioned into the Navy on 28 November.