Fifty junior Maritime Warfare Officers recently completed their first at-sea training component, aboard the RAN’s Sail Training Ship Young Endeavour.
The phase took the form of an intensive three-day training program, held between 17-28 June, to commemorate the beginning of the Maritime Warfare Officers course for entrants.
Social distancing measures prevented the group from carrying out the training cruise earlier this year as scheduled, whilst undergoing the New Entry Officers’ Course (NEOC) at HMAS Creswell (Jervis Bay, NSW).
Embarking from HMAS Watson, the modified training program in STS Young Endeavour was designed to be delivered to small groups by the vessel’s Navy staff crew.
Learning in the square-rigged tall ship gave the participants a practical crash course in:
- Rules of the “road”; and
- Watch-on-deck routines.
Midshipman James Bednaic said that he relished the chance to navigate from Broken Bay back to Sydney Harbour.
“To be put in that situation actually tests you and shows what you can do, and shows the team that you’ve worked with over the last 72 hours what you’re capable of.
“It was truly an amazing experience,” he said.
Commanding Officer of Young Endeavour, Lieutenant Commander Andrew Callander said the ship’s staff crew worked hard to deliver a program that met the particular training objectives of Maritime Warfare Officer’s Course, while also meeting social distancing requirements.
“Sailing aboard Young Endeavour is a powerful and unique experience and one which has enriched the training program for these new recruits,” LCDR Callander said.
“The focused training schedule allowed our dedicated staff crew to share their expertise and give the junior officers a better practical understanding of life at sea.”
For many aboard the vessel, it was their first seagoing experience. Since 1988, more than 14,000 young Australians from all over the nation have sailed aboard Young Endeavour, which Defence said allows them “to take part in an inspiring youth development experience that increases self-awareness, develops teamwork and leadership skills and creates a strong sense of social responsibility”.