A taste of Navy life for APS

Department of Defence

In today’s constantly evolving landscape, Defence relies heavily on the expertise and collaboration of its integrated workforce.

To strengthen the capabilities of Defence Australian Public Service (APS) members and better prepare the workforce for the complex demands of the maritime domain, the Naval Shipbuilding and Sustainment Group (NSSG) developed Exercise Immerse.

Head of Patrol Boats and Specialist Ships Rear Admiral Wendy Malcolm said Exercise Immerse goes beyond traditional experience programs and allows participants to build their knowledge, skills and networks.

“Understanding how and why the Navy trains and operates is a vital component of ensuring that our integrated workforce understands the brief when it comes to supporting the fleet,” she said.

“Through Exercise Immerse, we are seeing a reinvigorated workforce with an improved understanding of their ADF colleagues.”

This year’s first iteration of the exercise was conducted in February, with seven APS members experiencing Navy training and a touch of life at sea on board MV Sycamore – Navy’s multi-role aviation training vessel.

Petty Officer Sam Tickle, from NSSG’s Maritime Acquisition and Sustainment Executive Team, has led the charge in designing and delivering Exercise Immerse, and said the program has now benefited more than 100 participants since January 2023.

“The program provides participants an opportunity to engage with subject-matter experts, collaborate with peers and immerse themselves in scenarios that replicate real-world challenges faced by our Navy personnel,” Petty Officer Tickle said.

“The most common feedback from individual participants is that they now have a better understanding of the different primary and auxiliary roles within Navy, the difference between our roles ashore and at sea, and how we can better work together to achieve outcomes.”

Well into its second year, the program is stronger than ever with iterations delivered across a variety of naval establishments and vessels.

Deputy Secretary Naval Shipbuilding and Sustainment Jim McDowell highlighted the importance of approaching the program with an integrated mindset and a hunger for growth.

“Exercise Immerse is more than just a training program, it is a catalyst for personal growth, professional advancement and the continued success of Defence’s efforts in the maritime domain,” he said.

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