MOORESTOWN, N.J. – Royal Australia Navy (RAN) officers were the first to graduate from the new AEGIS combat systems course delivered at the Combat Systems Engineering Development Site (CSEDS) after completing a thorough and rigorous two months of training Oct. 14.
Dr. Darrell Tatro, director of the Center for Surface Combat Systems (CSCS) International Programs, presided over the ceremony.
“Today’s milestone event is the result of CSCS, RAN, and our industry partners coming together to develop the Combat Systems Officer (CSO) course that provides a combination of functional and operational systems instruction with warfighting applications applied for the newest Air Warfare Destroyers (AWD), which are equipped with the AEGIS Combat System (ACS),” Tatro said. “The instruction, hands-on labs, simulations, as well as computer-based and interactive courseware training provided you the knowledge and tools to help you and your future crews implement and execute AEGIS.”
The Center for Surface Combat Systems also provides international training coordinated through its International Programs directorate. The mission of CSCS International Programs is to provide allied forces quality training to enable them to develop ready teams capable of operations that maintain and expertly employ surface combatants. The directorate partners with U.S. training, readiness, and policy organizations, as well as other government agencies and industry to support international missions.
Concurrently, RAN officers attended the prospective commanding officer (PCO) course offered at the CSEDS site as well. PCOs and prospective executive officers (PXOs) were provided with command level knowledge in the operational characteristics, capabilities, limitations, and administrative requirements of the AEGIS Combat System in a fleet environment.
“What made this course unique is that RAN students were able to participate in multiple guided discussions with subject matter experts (SMEs) with AEGIS Combat System experience, including Capt. Pete Galluch, commanding officer of the AEGIS Training and Readiness Center (ATRC),” Tatro explained. “Discussions included ACS in strike group operations and AEGIS lessons learned in tactical situations.”
Capt. Terence Morrison, RAN’s director for the Hobart Class Destroyers, who will introduce the ship class across the elements of training, said both classes were essential because of their focus on the combat systems training experience.
“From beginning to end, each course provided us an in-depth knowledge of combat systems training which will empower us to do our best of delivering this future capability to our Navy,” he said.
Cmdr. Rich Petrie, also a student, will return to Australia to stand up the crew and first ship in the Hobart Class, HMAS Hobart (DDGH 39).
“The training scenarios that we received were very realistic to the ship’s environment, and it was crucial that we experience the new baseline first hand that our Navy will be utilizing for years to come,” he explained.
Cmdr. Josh Wilson, who will return to Australia to develop the tactical and operational portions of Aegis Combat System training for future crews, looks forward to commissioning the second ship, HMAS Brisbane (DDGH 41).
“I have received in-depth training in the States before, but to work on the live baseline with SMEs side-by-side was extremely beneficial,” he said. “What I have learned and will execute will positively impact RAN’s future generation of Sailors.”
Morrison, Petrie, and Wilson look forward to continuing their relationship with their U.S. counterparts when they travel to Australia to conduct additional training.
“The RAN has extensive experience working with the U.S. Navy,” Morrison said. “It was a privilege to work with them again, and I look forward to furthering our partnership when they travel to Australia.”
As Tatro concluded the ceremony, he stressed that the RAN and U.S. Navy’s partnership will continue to grow as they progress with the Air Warfare Destroyers program.
“It will only get stronger and both the [Royal Australia Navy and U.S. Navy] are confident that you have been provided the tools to help shape the RAN today and tomorrow’s global AEGIS fleet.”
The Center for Surface Combat Systems' mission is to develop and deliver surface ship combat systems training to achieve surface warfare superiority. CSCS headquarters' staff oversees 14 Learning Sites and provides nearly 70,000 hours of curriculum for 700 courses a year to more than 40,000 Sailors. CSCS delivers specialized training for officer and enlisted Sailors required to tactically operate, maintain, and employ shipboard and shore-based weapons, sensors, and command and control systems utilized in today's Navy.
For information about the Center for Surface Combat Systems, visit https://www.netc.navy.mil/centers/cscs/ or on Facebook.