Training provider Serco announced that 37 Royal Australian Navy (RAN) Maritime Warfare Officers have graduated with their Bridge Warfare qualifications in a ceremony at HMAS Watson in Sydney. Throughout two years of intensive training, the Maritime Warfare Officer Course (MWOC) transforms junior RAN officers into fully qualified Maritime Warfare Officers able to manage conflict operations on Australia’s fleet of warships. The final phase of training is a 20-week simulator component and has been led by Serco Defence in partnership with the RAN since 2012.
During this phase, officers are taught complex navigation, bridge management and mariner skills. Using a 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. Successful completion of the MWOC results in officers being awarded their Bridge Warfare Certificate. This qualification allows them to perform one of the most sought-after roles in the Australian Defence Force – Officer of the Watch on a Navy warship. Since 2012, Serco has supported hundreds of Navy officers through the MWOC.
Serco Defence Managing Director Clint Thomas 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,” Thomas said. “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 SBLT Jackson Breer. Breer will “take watch” in one of the RAN’s newest guided missile destroyers, HMAS Hobart.