Since 2012, Serco Defence has helped the RAN with simulator training in phase four of the Junior Warfare Application Course (JWAC), which transforms junior Navy officers into fully qualified Maritime Warfare Officers (MWO).
These qualifications mean the officers are able to manage conflict operations on Australia's fleet of warships, as an Officer of the Watch on a Navy warship, a highly sought after role in the Australian Defence Force.
During phase four, officers are taught complex navigation, bridge management and mariner skills, and are then assessed in a bridge simulator to test their actions and reactions in high-pressure emergency, tactical and warfare situations.
The simulator enables "total manipulation of maritime conditions at any time of the day or night, providing an ultra-realistic training environment".
Serco Defence managing director Clint Thomas AM, CSC, said the training highlighted the successful partnership between Navy and Serco to deliver skills capacity.
“The whole team is dedicated to ensuring Navy officers have every chance to succeed during the course,” Thomas said.
“The final phase is a crucial part of their training, and we work hard to ensure the simulators provide an exceptionally realistic training environment. An additional Full Mission Simulator will be operational next year to meet the Navy’s demands for more qualified MWOs across their expanding fleet.”
The JWAC is conducted in four phases:
- Phase one covers basic navigation and mariner skills;
- Phase two requires students to spend 20 weeks at sea, consolidating what they have learned;
- Phase three teaches officers advanced mariner skills, bridge management and complex navigation; and
- In phase four, officers put all they have learned throughout the course into practice during 22 weeks of bridge simulator training, which includes mastering complex war fighting techniques.