New breed of specialists joins the fleet

Department of Defence

Having just completed nine months of intensive initial employment training (IET), the first streamed-on-entry communication specialist sailors (CIS-C) will now join the fleet.

The inaugural IET CIS-C Session 001 commenced in May 2023, with 14 sailors training to work with modern and sophisticated communications technology.

The course was held at the Defence Force School of Signals Maritime Communications and Information Systems Wing located in HMAS Cerberus, Victoria.

The role of a CIS-C is to establish strategic and tactical communication links between ships and shore establishments to generate naval power for the integrated force.

Previously, CIS sailors would be trained as generalists. The new streamed structure was created to align with the CIS Workgroup Remediation Action Plan.

A streamed CIS workforce allows deeper specialisation for careers, greater job clarity, reduction in training timelines and helps prepare the workgroup for the current modernisation of communication technology.

Director General Intelligence and Information Warfare Commodore Matthew Doornbos was the reviewing officer for CIS-C Session 001.

“The graduation of this cohort marks a critical step in the modernisation of communications in the Royal Australian Navy,” he said.

“These sailors will go on to ensure our vital communication links are established and maintained to ensure assured command and control at sea, no matter the situation.”

The trainees’ instruction was conducted across multiple fields including signal flags, visual Morse code, tactical manoeuvring of fleet units, frequency management, satellite communications and tactical voice.

Communication specialists are also a vital part of information warfare within the Navy, providing assured command and control at home and afar.

Seaman Alex Meiklejohn was a member of the inaugural class.

“We are very excited for our new postings. After nine months of training we are very keen to put our skills and knowledge to work,” Seaman Meiklejohn said.

Training also included a consolidation phase in the communication centre simulator, where sailors demonstrated their learnings through a variety of exercises in a simulated maritime environment.

The inaugural class will join a variety of ships and establishments for their first posting.

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