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December 8, 2011
THE roll out of changes to the
Maritime Warfare Officer
(MWO) Primary Qualification
has signalled the beginning of
a deep specialist Navy workforce on
the way to the RAN of Force 2030.
The revised Navy roles for 2015
necessitated a new specialised workforce
capability based on environment (air, sur-
face or subsurface) and warship class.
Introduction of new specialisations
will transform the MWO capability above
the current minimum capability of the
Bridge Warfare Certificate (BWC).
Additionally, some specialised posi-
tions will not require the BWC, provided
they are completed by someone with
suitable experience and skills in the area,
opening new opportunities for Navy to
retain the considerable skills of senior
sailors as commissioned officers and
potentially in command positions in
minor war vessels.
Director General Navy Capability
Transition and Sustainment CDRE Ian
Middleton said this
was not an evolu-
tion in Navy, rather
"a complete step
up to a whole new
He said the
nature of warfare
training would no
longer meet the
needs of the Navy
as new technology
and warships come
online by 2015, and
training officers to
serve on any ship
could no longer be
"The new LHD (Landing Helicopter
Dock) is a game changer and it needs a
specialist workforce," CDRE Middleton
"Additionally, US sailors tell us it
takes about two years post-course to
become really useful and understand
technology like the AEGIS system on the
Air Warfare Destroyers (AWDs).
"Specialist training for Principal
Warfare Officers (PWO) and Air Warfare
Officers to fight in an AWD is 12 months.
They will then be sent to the US for about
six months of AEGIS training -- this is a
He said the capability shortfalls in
meeting the demands of platforms such
as the LHDs, AWDs and upgrades to the
Anzac-class frigates highlighted the need
The realignment in the MWO contin-
uum is being directed by a one-star steer-
ing group headed by CDRE Middleton,
with cross-project teams implementing
policy across sub-areas of people, struc-
ture and training.
CDRE Middleton said the cross-pro-
ject teams were required to report quar-
terly and considerable change had already
He said the Junior Warfare Application
Course (JWAC) 52 that began in January
this year was the first of the directed spe-
cialisation course, which was a significant
He said the junior officers were
required to elect specialisations at the
Fleet Board on completion of Phase III
training, where allocation was decided on
personal preference and order of merit.
"In the initial group everyone got their
first preference so that was good news,"
courses will be ready
for January 2013 and
in time for the JWAC
52 graduates to con-
tinue on the new con-
changes included the
amalgamation of the
Force Warfare Officer
courses into a single
This occurred in
A catch-up program for officers mid-
way through existing courses has been
implemented so that the majority of
PWOs will have completed the full train-
ing continuum by September 2012.
CDRE Middleton said work was now
under way to have advanced warfare
courses ready for 2015.
"This is all about a specialist work-
force to improve our deep specialist
knowledge in how combat systems oper-
ate and how we use new technology most
efficiently," he said.
"We need to prepare ourselves for the
fleet of 2015 and indeed the fleet of 2030
and reposition ourselves for the future."
For more information visit http://intranet.
Well on the path to
IN 2009 my predecessor directed
a comprehensive review of the
Seaman Primary Qualification to
determine the future direction of
warfare officers in our Navy.
The professional require-
ments of warfare officers from
2015 onwards will differ greatly
from those of years past and it
is essential that our workforce is
trained and specialised appro-
The review recommended
transition to a specialist warfare
workforce, including the estab-
lishment of Amphibious and Mine
Warfare streams as Principal
Warfare Officer (PWO) speciali-
sations, and the development of
a Maritime Combat Officer role
for senior sailors wishing to com-
already being implemented under
the banner of 'Maritime Warfare
Officer Specialisation 2015'.
This work is crucial to ensuring
that our Navy is ready to meet
the challenges of new platforms
such as the LHD and AWD and
prepared for advances in capa-
bility over the next decade and
Changes already implement-
a more efficient officer train-
ing pipeline for the subma-
rine community, including a
training continuum to enable
submarine senior sailors to
commission as submarine
graduated amendments to
the PWO course resulting
in a complete transition to a
new course by January 2013;
the establishment of transi-
tion paths for senior sailors
to commission as Maritime
Combat Officers, the first two
commissioning in October
All these changes will result
in exciting opportunities for sail-
ors and officers across Navy,
encouraging everyone to be their
best so we all continue to serve
Australia with pride.
I fully support this endeavour
and see its successful implemen-
tation as a key to Navy's profes-
sional workforce for the future.
-- VADM Ray Griggs, CN
SUPPORT FROM THE TOP Major changes to the Maritime Warfare Officer
Primary Qualification will revolutionalise
the way Navy trains its people and provide
opportunities for all. Graham McBean explains.
"This is all about a
to improve our deep
specialist knowledge in
how combat systems
operate and how we
use new technology
-- CDRE Ian Middleton,
Director General Navy
Capability Transition and
TIMES OF CHANGE: (Left) HMAS Toowoomba's Principal Warfare Officer,
LEUT David Scott, at work on a multi-function console in Toowoomba's
Photo: POIS Damian Pawlenko
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