Finding their sea legs

Published on LEUT Gary McHugh (author)

Topic(s): Training, HMAS Anzac (F150), Navy Gap Year

L-R: MIDN Jared Curtis, MIDN James Ralston, MIDN Nathan Woodcock, MIDN Thandi Murada, MIDN Abby Templar, MIDN Scarlett Lockyer and MIDN Jacob Freeman recently embarked in HMAS Anzac for a sea-ride in the Western Australian Exercise Area. (photo: )
L-R: MIDN Jared Curtis, MIDN James Ralston, MIDN Nathan Woodcock, MIDN Thandi Murada, MIDN Abby Templar, MIDN Scarlett Lockyer and MIDN Jacob Freeman recently embarked in HMAS Anzac for a sea-ride in the Western Australian Exercise Area.

A group of Midshipmen comprised of both Gap Year and Permanent Navy Officers recently embarked in HMAS Anzac for a taste of life at sea.

Their three days in Anzac consisted of spending time in all departments, as well as focusing on individual workplaces depending on their chosen careers or interests.

Commanding Officer HMAS Anzac Commander Brendan Horn said his ship’s company was happy to accommodate the young officers and give them their first experience of life in a Navy ship.

“Most of these young people haven’t been in a ship before, let alone go to sea on a busy frigate,” Commander Horn said.

“Experience at sea is an important step in a member’s career progression as it gives them an understanding of what their chosen job actually entails when they have finished their training.

“The Midshipmen made the most of our busy schedule by getting involved in a number of evolutions and activities in the program.

“This included participating in engineering breakdown drills, damage control as well as the everyday duties undertaken at sea such as watch-keeping, both on the bridge and in the engine spaces.”

Of the seven Midshipmen embarked in Anzac, three had aspirations of becoming Weapons Electrical Engineering Officers, two had their minds set on Marine Engineering Officers, while the remaining two were looking at becoming Maritime Warfare Officers.

HMAS Anzac Assistant Maritime Engineering Officer Sub Lieutenant Adeel Patel said the sea-ride was an opportunity for the young officers to get a look at what their jobs will be once they are qualified.

“It allows trainees to see first-hand what it is they will eventually be doing in the roles they have chosen as their careers,” he said.

“Additionally, they can have all their queries answered and get an insight into other careers, and the working relationships between different categories onboard.”

After completing their one-year commitment, the Gap Year officers can apply to remain in Navy, while the permanent members will attend the Australian Defence Force Academy next year.

HMAS Anzac recently joined HMAS Arunta as the second Anzac Class Frigate to undergo the Anzac Midlife Capability Assurance Program.

The upgrade program is being undertaken by Navy and the Warship Asset Management Agreement which is a four-way alliance between the Commonwealth’s Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group, Saab Australia, BAE Systems and Naval Ship Management Australia.