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November 8, 2012
Michael Brooke and
LCDR David Bettell
HMA Ships Warramunga and
Newcastle have achieved important
milestones with individual and col-
lective training while assigned to the
Major Fleet Unit (MFU) Training Task
Since January, Warramunga and
Newcastle have embarked a total of
239 additional trainees who have pro-
gressed or completed their individual
Both platforms also hosted an
additional 80 sailors for a Life at Sea
Experience that included personnel
from Recruit School, NEOC, REOC,
the USN and the Singaporean Navy.
CO Newcastle CMDR Paul
O'Grady said his crew had 78 days at
sea in which more than 1500 compe-
tencies and 40 competency logs were
completed by 140 trainees.
"More than 45 operator qualifica-
tions were also awarded such as bridge
watchkeeping certificates, marine sys-
tem managers, marine system techni-
cians and helmsman certificates," he
CO Warramunga CMDR Mike
Turner said his crew had 60 days at
sea with 99 trainees achieving more
than 600 competencies, 13 competen-
cy logs, 55 operator qualifications and
1611 work histories.
"Training is critical to the future of
our Navy and what we are doing here
is a huge step forward," he said.
"While all the extra trainees have
been given the opportunity to progress
their training, we were careful not to
disadvantage our own ship's compa-
ny's individual training and I believe
we have that balance right."
ASLT Meegan Ryan participated
in Ex Triton Storm on board HMAS
Warramunga and said the TTG had
provided a unique opportunity to be
part of a ship that trains personnel.
"Being a Phase II MWO is all
about learning as much as you can
about how a warship operates on a
day-to-day basis," she said. "The TTG
creates an environment where trainees
are of the highest priority," she said.
"It was also fantastic to get the
chance to visit New Zealand during
our deployment, and enjoy some new
The aim of the TTG concept is to
significantly increase training achieve-
ment in assigned platforms as com-
pared to normal operations.
Both ships aim to sail with every
bunk filled, ensuring every opportunity
to progress training targets is taken.
To ensure some flexibility, about 15
additional personnel are posted to each
MFU TTG unit.
This overbearing is managed by
ships using flexi-crewing principles,
encouraging the application of inno-
vative personnel management strate-
gies. This is a broad-based approach
Unlike the previous highly-
focussed efforts to improve marine
technician qualifications under Plan
Train, the TTGs will embark and qual-
ify an increased number of trainees
across several categories and primary
While marine technician qualifica-
tions at all levels are a high priority, they
are not the sole focus of the TTG effort.
Warramunga and Newcastle began
the year with exercises off the West
Australian coast before deploying to
New Zealand to conduct long naviga-
tion sea phase training, qualifying two
MFU navigators in the process.
Warramunga is assigned to the
TTG for the remainder of the year and
will continue training while hosting
the long navigation course, with an
additional 25 trainees, in the lead-up
to port visits to Tasmania and Victoria.
Similarly pleasing training results
were also turned in by the LCH
Training Task Group. By embarking
up to two accommodation modules,
each LCH significantly increased the
number of sea training opportunities.
TTG responsibilities continue to be
rotated between available LCHs.
Full steam ahead on skills
NEW DIRECTIONS: LEUT Alex Finnis gives ASLT Meegan Ryan some navigational tips as part of her training
on the deck of HMAS Warramunga.
Photo: POEW Owen Negus
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