HMAS Canberra’s Crew Undergoes Assessment

Newly commissioned Landing Helicopter Dock, HMAS Canberra, has proven she has what it takes to conduct a safe boarding operations recently, with tough couple of days of assessment from Navy’s Sea Training Group.

The testing period forms part of the Mariner Skills Evaluation which checks a range of mariner competencies specific to maintaining the safety of the ship and ship’s company at sea. Canberra’s was tested on her ability to operate in a peace-time environment and overcome a range of potential emergencies.

The first two days of evaluation were conducted alongside Fleet Base East before the ship sailed for the first time as HMAS Canberra to conduct the sea phase.

The boarding operation was the second evolution to be assessed, with Canberra already having achieved the necessary standard for Diving Operations.

Sea Training Group’s Fleet Direction Officer, Lieutenant Commander Aaron Scott, said that the aim of the evaluation was to test a basic low level boarding.

We conducted a training exercise with Canberra’s boarding party to ensure that it was safe and effective at going through their procedures for conducting low level boarding operations.

Canberra’s boarding team did really well, they were safe, effective and very enthusiastic. They performed their job to a good standard.

Canberra’s First Lieutenant, Lieutenant Commander Michael Nipperess, said the ship had to work together to effect a successful boarding operation.

A boarding operation not only involves the teams that go out to board the vessel, but also the boat crews who take the teams out, the operations staff who provide the information, logistics personnel that sustain the team, and the others who allocate weapons, body armour and radios for the teams to prepare.

It takes a range of teams from across the ship to be prepared so we can effect a professional, safe boarding operation which achieves the aims of the mission.

Canberra sailed in December to conduct the at sea phase of Mariner Skills Evaluation prior to returning alongside Fleet Base East for a reduced activity period over Christmas.

Press release, Image: Australian Navy

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