Navy Exercise Boss Lift 2018

A group of civilian employers of Australian Defence Force Reserves recently enjoyed a first-hand experience of work and life in the Royal Australian Navy.

This included time at sea in HMAS Adelaide – The second of two Canberra-class landing helicopter dock (LHD) ships of the Royal Australian Navy.  The activity in HMAS Adelaide, one of the Navy’s newest and biggest ships, occurred off the coast of New South Wales.  It included launch and recovery of landing craft and transfer to the mainland in a Navy helicopter.

HMAS Adelaide is the Navy’s biggest-ever ship being 230m long and approximate 27,800 tonnes at full displacement. It was commissioned three years ago, has a crew of approximately 400 and the capability, with helicopters and landing craft, to conduct humanitarian missions and embark, transport amphibious forces and to deploy more than 1000 personnel along with their equipment and supporting aviation assets.

Exercise Boss Lift is coordinated and run by Reserve and Youth Division and the Defence Reserves Support Council to give employers of reservists, a deeper understanding of their commitment to serve in the defence and protection of Australia and skills considered to be transferable to their civilian jobs.

James Digges, the NSW State Chair of the DRSC, who participated with the civilian employers, observed that Boss Lift is a perfect opportunity to demonstrate to employers of Reservists the broad extent of training and experience that Reservists receive in the employment with Defence.

“The Defence Reserve Support Council are focused on ensuring that the return received from employing Reservists is maximised,” Mr Digges said.

“Understanding what the increases to their capability the Reservists receive, better enables Employers to employ them to their maximum potential in their civilian role.”

The Employers were escorted by Naval Reserve personnel and joined the three-day exercise on board HMAS Adelaide for a transit from Sydney south to Twofold Bay at Eden, near the Victorian border. Navy, Army and Air Force personnel work together on board the ship, which provided the civilian employers with an insight into all three services of the Australian Defence Force.

Following introductions and safety briefings the group left Sydney harbour on the flight deck of the ship.  During the transit they visited the bridge, flight control room, helicopter hanger, the impressive medical facility, landing-craft dock, accommodation and the vehicle decks.

The civilian employers enjoyed meals with crew members, were briefed by the Commanding Officer, Captain Jonathan Earley, RAN and slept in the embarked officers’ two-berth cabins.

Mr Mark Irwin, Chief Executive Officer, Serco Asia Pacific, said that the experience exposed him to the leadership qualities of the Royal Australian Navy and demonstrated the benefits of employing Australian Defence Force Reserves in his organisation.

“It was a true privilege to see first-hand the very complex, yet incredibly well-managed interfaces between assets, technology and people that brings the unprecedented capability of the LHDs to life. I witnessed an impressive accumulation of talent – energetic, capable, professional – in the leadership and crew of
HMAS Adelaide,” Mr Irwin said.

“No doubt this represents what there is in the rest of Defence, and offers employers like Serco a valuable opportunity to hire ex-Defence personnel while being able to give back through flexible employment to support ongoing ADF Reserve requirements. I am grateful to the Defence Reserves Support Council, our escorts from the Reserve and Youth Division, and a particularly huge thank you to
Captain Earley for his consideration to host us on HMAS Adelaide”.

Lieutenant Commander Mark Shannon, RANR, who is employed as a civilian at Serco Asia Pacific said, “The opportunity to take my employer to sea, and provide a real-time experience of what a navy reservist does was invaluable.”   

Following time aboard HMAS Adelaide the civilian employers spend time at Navy bases HMAS Creswell and HMAS Albatross and were exposed to survival training and flight simulator activities.


Navy Exercise Boss Lift 2018 participants pictured on board HMAS Adelaide


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Last update: Wednesday, 1 May 2019

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