Home' Navy News : July 8th 2010 Contents NAVY NEWS
July 8, 2010
By MIDN Nathan O'Toole
A MARITIME warfare officer from
HMAS Watson (CAPT Jay Bannister)
has become the first Defence member
to receive an esteemed accolade for
his contribution to the development of
modelling and simulation sciences in
The Simulation Industry Association
of Australia honoured CMDR Ralph
Macdonald with the Simulation
Achievement Award at the 2010
SimTecT Conference in Brisbane on
CMDR Macdonald said it was
encouraging to see that Navy's simula-
tion efforts had been acknowledged.
"In military simulation we must work
on a principle that, if it's not war, it's
simulation, because effectiveness in com-
bat relies heavily upon training," CMDR
"Achieving effectiveness in wartime
requires building that effectiveness in
peacetime -- so we need to train the way
we fight, because we will fight the way
For more than 30 years, CMDR
Macdonald has been an integral player in
the development and implementation of
simulation technology in the RAN.
His efforts have directly assisted in
training thousands of warfare officers
and sailors, and paved the way for the
future development of naval simulation
During his career, CMDR Macdonald
has served in 10 different classes of war-
ship and was on the acceptance team for
the first true maritime simulation device
used to train navigators and anti-subma-
rine aircraft controllers in 1976.
He later developed this simulator to
train controllers in helicopter approaches
to ships using radar and served as a DDG
training simulator instructor.
CMDR Macdonald was involved in
a project that integrated three different
classes of naval surface warfare combat
simulators and directed the creation of
the Maritime Warfare Training System,
which provides live virtual training simu-
"This is at the very heart of what
we, Navy, have built with the Maritime
Warfare Training System and is the basis
of our approach to network-centric war-
fare," CMDR Macdonald said.
"The RAN has investigated, devel-
oped and implemented the training
and administrative processes necessary
to support live, virtual simulation and
constructive simulation into a training
environment, which is necessary to sup-
port joint and coalition team training and
Currently CMDR Macdonald is the
Maritime Warfare Training Systems
Officer at Watson but he will soon move
on to become the Head of Futures and
This future role will enable him to
continue his work to develop fleet syn-
thetic training and provide advice and
assistance to senior defence leadership
on simulation training policy.
Paving the way for
TOP GONG: Ray Page presents CMDR Ralph Macdonald with the
Simulation Achievement Award at the 2010 SimTecT conference in Brisbane.
Photo: Peter Hill
ADF personnel recently provided
eye-saving cataract surgery and
built a school for the disabled in a
humanitarian assistance mission to
The two week humanitar-
ian mission in Quy Nhon, Vietnam,
involved 22 ADF members working
as part of a coalition of internation-
al militaries in the US-led Pacific
Partnership 2010 (PP10).
Army engineers from the 2nd
Combat Engineer Regiment, based
in Brisbane, helped with the recon-
struction of the school, fitting it out
with electrical and plumbing servic-
es while assisting local contractors
to improve the building's appear-
ADF nurses assisted in 132
operations on board USNS Mercy.
A Navy ophthalmologist, LEUT
Elizabeth Livingstone, conducted
13 cataract surgeries, while an Army
medical officer provided medical
care to more than 300 patients dur-
ing the period.
Mission Commander, CDRE
Lisa Franchetti, USN, said the con-
tribution of the Australian contin-
gent was critical in the completion
of the humanitarian assistance pro-
grams in Quy Nhon.
ADF makes a difference
on Pacific Partnership
"Each and every one of the ADF
personnel contributed to the success
of our achievements in Vietnam,"
CDRE Franchetti said.
"I am very proud of their efforts
and grateful to have them as part of
my 900-strong team."
Commander Australian National
Command Element, LTCOL Helen
Murphy, said the chance to work
with so many different military per-
sonnel was a unique experience.
"All 22 Australians have enjoyed
the opportunity to work with the US
military personnel and personnel
from the other five partner nations,"
LTCOL Murphy said.
"Each ADF member has been
integrated into the multi-national
teams and the personal and profes-
sional development is already evi-
dent, after only two weeks."
This year PP10 will also visit
Cambodia, Indonesia and East
Timor based in USNS Mercy. For
the first time since the inception of
the mission, a RAN vessel -- HMAS
Tobruk -- will be used as the com-
mand platform when the mission
visits Papua New Guinea. Two
Heavy Landing Craft, HMA Ships
Labuan and Brunei, will provide
ship-to-shore support in Indonesia,
East Timor and PNG.
VITAL SUPPORT: LEUT
Elizabeth Livingstone, an eye
on board USNS Mercy, looks
through an eye microscope while
conducting specialist treatment
Photo: ABIS Andrew Dakin
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