A recent ceremony at HMAS Watson marks completion of the Bridge Warfare Certificate course, administered by Serco Defence. Thirty-seven Maritime Warfare Officers were awarded the certificate, which caps off two years of intensive training under the Maritime Warfare Office Course (MWOC).
The MWOC transforms junior RAN officers into fully-fledged Maritime Warfare Officers able to manage conflict operations on Australia’s fleet of warships.
Phase 4 of the training comprises of a 28-week shore interval conducted at HMAS Watson, which covers:
- Navy Officer Leadership Course;
- Warfare theory training; and
- Bridge Warfare Certificate (BWC) – 18 weeks practical training in a virtual bridge simulator.
Serco said that during this phase, officers are taught complex navigation, bridge management and mariner skills. Using the bridge simulator, the specialist trainers assess officers’ 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.
In completing the simulator component, the Officers will be awarded their Primary Qualification (PQ), and achieve one of the most coveted roles in the ADF – Officer of the Watch on a Navy warship.
Serco has been involved in the administration of the MWOC since 2012, and over this time has supported hundreds of Navy officers through the course. Company personnel based at HMAS Watson are all former service men and women who have served with either the RAN, the RNZN, or the British Royal Navy.
Serco Defence managing director Clint Thomas, AM, CSC, said he is proud of the HMAS Watson team who were able to respond quickly and continue to deliver this course during a global emergency.
“The first course of 2020 presented some additional challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite restrictions imposed by government and national health guidelines, Serco continued to provide high quality training and technical support to the Royal Australian Navy uninterrupted, with some innovative changes to delivery methods both locally and remotely,” said Thomas.
“Our rapid response to the COVID-19 emergency has further strengthened Serco’s long-standing partnership with Defence and we look forward to welcoming the next intake of students.”
This year also saw the debut of Serco’s ‘On Watch’ Award. Thomas presented the award to the Dux of Phase 4 Simulator Training Sub Lieutenant Jackson Breer.
SBLT Breer will deploy to one of the RAN’s newest guided missile destroyers, the HMAS Hobart.