Navy’s Maritime Trade Operations Element gains Battle-worthiness Certification

Published on SBLT Nancy Cotton (author), Unknown (photographer)

Location(s): HMAS Moreton, Qld

Captain John Cowan with Lieutenant Commander Christensen holding the Maritime Trade Operations Element Battle-worthiness Certification. (photo: Unknown)
Captain John Cowan with Lieutenant Commander Christensen holding the Maritime Trade Operations Element Battle-worthiness Certification.

In recognition of their mission readiness status, the Maritime Trade Operations Element recently gained their inaugural Battle-worthiness Certification.

Maritime Trade Operations (MTO) Team One successfully demonstrated its mission readiness, this being the team’s operational response capability, during Exercise VITAL PROSPECT 20.

Located in Queensland at HMAS Moreton, Maritime Trade Operations are an established lodger unit that provide a nationwide capability and significant interface between the Australian Defence Force and civil maritime industry. 

The Maritime Trade Operations capability is utilised across the full spectrum of maritime military operations, from pre-contingency shaping through to high end warfighting.

Navy’s expertise in the commercial maritime industry and shipping sector is provided by the niche skill sets of Maritime Trade Operations that does not reside elsewhere within Navy.

Battle-worthiness is the highest level of readiness certification in the Royal Australian Navy, and the recent achievement by the Maritime Trade Operations Element was recognised with the certification presentation by Captain John Cowan (Maritime Observer Training Team) in a small ceremony at Moreton.

“During the exercise the Maritime Trade Operations Element was able to bring a different viewpoint and approached challenges with a different perspective.

“The team fitted in seamlessly adding great value throughout, it is good to see Navy’s Maritime Component Command Element capability augmented by the effective use of the Maritime Trade Operations capability,” Captain Cowan said.

For the Maritime Trade Operations Team One Operations Officer Lieutenant Commander Rick Christensen, this was an important achievement for the future of the Maritime Trade Operations capability’s operational response component.

“The way our team performed and interlaced under challenging circumstances was great, I look forward to broader MTO employment in future exercises,” Lieutenant Commander Christensen said.

Director Maritime Trade Operations Team One Captain Michael Beard was proud of the team’s achievements and this inaugural recognition for Maritime Trade Operations team one.

“This is the first time the MTO Element has attempted a Battle-worthiness Certification, it is good to know Maritime Trade Operations Team one can now confidently support contingency operations with the delivery of the Maritime Trade Operations effect through a fully certified operational team,” Captain Michael Beard said.

“Moving forward, Maritime Trade Operations Team one now maintains an established presence at Moreton, with the Operations Officer position forming the capability’s point of contact.

“This inaugural certification outcome is significant in a warfighting sense, particularly in terms of Maritime Trade Operations Team one continuing to meet its Chief of Navy’s Preparedness Directive obligations and in helping deliver Plan Pelorus outcomes.”