Sailors use Orca platform to develop naval skills

Sailors use Orca platform to develop naval skills

A/SLt Brandon Khuu, Naval Reserves ~

The Annapolis division of Naval Warfare Officers have recently completed a dynamic Phase Four of training at Naval Fleet School Pacific – Venture Division.

After spending three weeks at sea, and conducting a mini task group exercise on board Orca-Class Patrol vessels Wolf and Orca, sailors learned to be flexible with the planning and execution of tasks and exercises, all while standing bridge watches, and consolidating their naval concepts and skills learned to date.

The work was fast paced and hands-on for the students who assisted the Canadian Coast Guard in response to a reported fuel spill in the Strait of Georgia. The two patrol craft embarked members of the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) hovercraft Moytel to survey the coasts and shorelines of several Gulf Islands for signs of fuel, with no such indications found.

The students also participated in two helicopter hoist operations with a United States Coast Guard helicopter from Port Angeles, and with RCAF 443 MH Squadron out of Patricia Bay, furthering their knowledge and capability of working alongside other government and allied departments.

Training at sea allowed students to sail to Constance Bank and act as a platform for simulated mass casualties in support of a training event for HMCS Calgary, and later conducted pilotage to Desolation Sound, and anchorage in Teakerne Arm, which included an overnight maritime security patrol in the Strait of Georgia and the southern Gulf Islands.

Sailing in late February and early March also added the complexity of Pacific Coast winter storm weather.

Coping with the ever-changing environment, the students deftly adapted to last minute alterations into passages and channels to avoid predicted weather, which involved the immediate re-planning of routes, destinations and scheduled tasks.

Thanks to the Patrol Craft Training Unit, the students enjoyed a fast-paced three weeks at sea, full of great events, experiences and opportunities for professional development. All students onboard Wolf were successful in their final phase of training, and are now anxious and excited to join the fleet as newly minted Naval Warfare Officers.

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