The three-day exercise is organised by the Reserve and Youth Division of the Australian Defence Force and the Defence Reserves Support Council (DRSC), and aims to provide employers with an understanding of the importance of their commitment to the reserves.
NSW state chair of the DRSC James Digges, who participated with civilian employers, said, "Understanding what the increases to their capability the Reservists receive, better enables employers to employ them to their maximum potential in their civilian role."
Irwin confirmed that the experience gave him "a deeper appreciation of the skills Reservists gain through their work with Australian Defence Force".
"Of the many highlights, the diversity and impressive competence of the professionals in the crew absolutely stood out," Irwin said. "It was a true privilege to see first-hand the very complex, yet incredibly well managed interfaces between assets, technology and people that brings the unprecedented capability of the Landing Helicopter Decks (LHD) to life."
Part of the exercise took place in HMAS Adelaide, one of two LHDs in RAN's fleet and the Navy's biggest ever ship. The activity in the 230-metre-long vessel included launch and recovery of landing craft, transfer to mainland in a Navy helicopter, as well as visits to HMAS Creswell and HMAS Albatross for survival training and flight simulator activities.
HMAS Adelaide was commissioned in 2015, and has about 400 crew. The vessel has the capability to deploy more than 1,000 personnel to conduct amphibious and humanitarian operations.