HMAS Newcastle Provides Support to Long Navigation Course

Navigating the picturesque confines of the north and south islands of New Zealand proved to be the perfect training assessment for HMAS Newcastle.

In her capacity as the training task group ship, HMAS Newcastle deployed to New Zealand to conduct training and assessment for the Long Navigation Course during May.

Newcastle’s support for the Long Navigation Course provided members of her ship’s company and some 55 sea riders with training and assessment as future navigation officers.

The sea riders included TA-MW, CAPT Jay Bannister, staff and Long Navigation Course students from HMAS Watson. CO Newcastle, CMDR Jock Campbell, said as experienced officers of the watch, the students were assessed on their ability to handle an FFG at high speed in restricted waters.

Students conducted intense and rigorous planning to navigate Newcastle around the scenic north and south islands. “ The key was how the students performed under pressure while maintaining safe navigation of the ship with slowly degrading support,” CMDR Campbell said.

CMDR Campbell said Newcastle’s role as a Training Task Group ship is a Fleet initiative to develop individual mariner training skills.

“Newcastle’s role since January has been to undertake such duties as sea riding days for RAN recruits, provision of sea-going opportunities for Seaman and Able Seaman competency log progression,” he said.

The initiative has seen Newcastle embark an average of 55 trainees each time she has gone to sea this year. A total of 117 sailors have benefited from sea-going training in Newcastle and to date, 12 non-technical and 13 technical competency logs or operator qualifications have been awarded.

ABBM Nino Libiran said he honed his individual skills, particularly how to use signal paddles to communicate with their escort, HMAS Warramunga, during replenishment at sea approaches.

SMNBM Paul Ryan said he benefitted from the individual training opportunities, including firing the line throwing projectile using the F88 Austeyr rifle.


Naval Today Staff , May 11, 2012; Image: Royal Australian Navy