Specialist navigators complete new training course

Nine Pacific Island students have completed a brand-new training course upskilling them to work as specialist navigators in their home countries.

January 21, 2019

The 14-week Navigation Officers course was the first of its kind to be run as part of the Pacific Patrol Boat Program, a training program provided by AMC Search under contract from Australian Defence.

As part of their training, the students spent two weeks journeying along Tasmania’s East Coast and in and around Hobart Harbour and the D’Entrecasteaux Channel. This is the longest period of practical sea training undertaken on any Pacific Patrol Boat training course.

Pacific Patrol Boat Manager, Barry Jones, explained that the course was developed over two years in response to in-country feedback.

“Advisors in the Pacific Islands stated that it would be useful for their navigators to receive more concentrated practical training, especially at pilotage, and so this course was developed as new training matched to the position requirements onboard the Pacific Patrol Boats.

“Despite being the longest course in our program, it’s a busy and difficult one and the students have done incredibly well. The course will now become part of the career progression for Watchkeeping Officers and we hope to run it each year.”

The students, including the first female officer trainee from Timor Leste, have now returned home to become specialist navigators.

“They’ve stepped up a level in their navigation career. As specialist navigators, they will now go home and take control of the bridge, and oversee other Officers of the Watch. They will also be responsible for close-in navigation in and out of harbours, planning resources, fuel and operations. As third in command on the vessel, it’s a responsible and busy job,” Jones said.

Participant Jimmy Kubukana from the Solomon Islands said he enjoyed "almost everything" about the course.

“It’s long but it’s worth it. In both the theory and practical side there were things I’ve never learnt back home. The instructors did so well to give us all this knowledge. Back home, I hope I get the chance to train our Junior officers to pass this knowledge on.”

As with the Navigation Officers course, over 50% of training provided by AMC Search is bespoke and tailored to the specific needs of organisations. Find out more about our Bespoke Training.