Life at sea experience for future leaders

Published on LEUT Steph Sackley (author), LEUT Phillip Qin (photographer)

Topic(s): HMAS Adelaide (L01), New Entry Officers’ Course (NEOC)

Commanding Officer HMAS Adelaide, Captain Jonathan Ley; Commanding Officer Royal Australia Navy College, Commander David Shirvington; and staff and trainees of New Entry Officers' Course 63 form up in observance of social distancing protocols on the bow of HMAS Adelaide in Jervis Bay, NSW. (photo: LEUT Phillip Qin)
Commanding Officer HMAS Adelaide, Captain Jonathan Ley; Commanding Officer Royal Australia Navy College, Commander David Shirvington; and staff and trainees of New Entry Officers' Course 63 form up in observance of social distancing protocols on the bow of HMAS Adelaide in Jervis Bay, NSW.

Sailing out of Sydney Harbour for the first time, aboard HMAS Adelaide with five ships trailing in company, is an experience never to be forgotten.

For the 167 trainees currently completing the New Entry Officers’ Course 63, it was an opportunity almost missed due to COVID-19 restrictions.

However, with careful planning between the Adelaide Command Team and the Royal Australian Naval College, the Sea Training Deployment was made possible - a dream come true for the Navy’s newest officers.

The Officer trainees and support staff boarded Adelaide and sailed to Eden to undertake ammunitioning in Twofold Bay, before sailing into the East Australian Exercise Areas to assist in HMAS Sydney’s Unit Readiness Evaluation.

During their nine-day deployment, trainees were exposed to a number of departments on board, including logistics, engineering, aviation, amphibious and executive. It was a chance for trainees to learn about the ship’s departments, while garnering knowledge about their primary qualifications and an appreciation for life at sea.

Midshipman Nick Thompson, a future Aviation Warfare Officer, said the flight deck was his favourite area on board.

“Watching the embarked aircraft land on the flight deck was a very special moment for me,” Midshipman Thompson said.

“Being up close and personal with the aircraft during such a dynamic evolution was incredible.”

An aspiring Maritime Warfare Officer, Midshipman Nick Nuchanaton had a similarly positive experience.

“No matter how busy the ship’s company was, the Officers and Sailors did not hesitate to answer all our questions in great detail”, Midshipman Nuchanaton said.

“They were friendly, very committed to their roles and we all learnt a lot about how a warship functions at sea.”

The engineering department was also a popular unit, with many trainees enjoying their experience.

Midshipman Jessica Latimer, who is an aspirant Marine Engineering Officer, said it was her favourite tour.

“It was interesting to find out how the mechanics of the ship interact to provide capability.”

The Sea Training Deployment module consolidates a string of theory components taught at the Royal Australian Naval College in the first eight weeks of New Entry Officer training.

Trainees will conduct further training relevant to their Primary Qualifications at the completion of their current training later this year.

For information on careers as an Officer in the Royal Australian Navy go to:
https://navy.defencejobs.gov.au.