CPO2 Ryan Patterson, RCSCC Ajax, Guelph, ON
Over the course of 15 days, I had the amazing opportunity to travel to Australia along with cadets from the USA and UK. I was very fortunate to be selected, as there were only 4 other cadets chosen from all across Canada.
Some of the major highlights of the trip were the overwater obstacle course and fire simulation. The other cadet from Ontario and I were the only two people who were able to successfully complete the obstacle course. The simulation of a helicopter on fire aboard the deck of a ship was fantastic. This was interesting for me because I have personally never gotten to experience any sort of firefighting training so this was pretty neat to learn. Another fun thing that I enjoyed was the treetop high ropes. This was pretty neat because there were a lot of challenging obstacles that helped to increase and challenge my personal fitness.
We stayed at HMAS Penguin in Sydney, which is the Dive School for Fleet Base East and HMAS Creswell in Jervis Bay which is the Naval Officer School. We visited 808 SQN which is the Naval Helicopter Unit. We also visited the Fleet Air Museum, which recognizes the history of the Naval Air Force. One of my personal favourite moments was a visit to the HMAS Warramunga (FFH 152) which is an ANZAC Class frigate, one of eight in her class, commissioned in 2001.
Between the Australian Navy and the Canadian Navy there aren’t as many similarities as one might think, but mainly more differences. For example: the Australian Navy is larger than that of Canada. The uniforms for enlisted personnel are also different. All of the Aviation vehicles are operated by Navy personnel instead of Air Force personnel. The cadet programs are quite similar however. Both Canadian and Australian cadets participate in seamanship, sailing, marksmanship etc much like ours. Their cadets wear similar uniforms to their Navy though. Australian Sea Cadets work quite closely on a regular basis with their Navy for training and familiarization.
I really enjoyed this amazing trip and it will always be one of the best moments of my life. I have made many friends from Australia, the UK, the US and Canada that I will cherish memories with for the rest of my life.