COMMERCIAL - Fast Patrol Craft crew complete Austal training

COMMERCIAL - Fast Patrol Craft crew complete Austal training

More than 90 personnel from the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard (TTCG) have completed a comprehensive Austal vessel-training program in preparation for the delivery of their six-vessel Fast Patrol Craft fleet in early 2010.

The crew training program — held at Austal’s dedicated training facilities in Western Australia — familiarised TTCG personnel with the specific features and capabilities of the 30-metre Fast Patrol Craft, equipping them with the skills necessary to operate the vessels and perform basic maintenance.

Ordered in 2008, the all-aluminium fast-patrol boats will support the TTCG in providing sustained surveillance in the country’s internal waters, the archipelagic territorial sea and its Exclusive Economic Zone.

Additional contracts for scheduled and unscheduled maintenance, along with the crew training services, were attached to the initial order, demonstrating Austal’s growing Integrated Logistics Support (ILS) capability.

Austal said the crew training package comprises two different streams — a familiarisation training program for TTCG deck officers and ratings, and a maintenance training program for engineer officers and ratings.

The comprehensive maintenance training program familiarised the TTCG’s shore-based support personnel with the construction of the vessels, equipping them with the capability to conduct operational level maintenance as required.

Austal general manager – service, Michael McCourt, said coinciding the training program with the construction of the vessels provided the ideal environment for Austal’s dedicated training service.

“Trades covered by this program include aluminium fabricators and welders, electricians, engineers and outfitters, who each already have a certificate and a minimum of two years experience in their respective trade,” McCourt said.

“Completion of the training program will elevate each of the personnel to a new level of expertise in their relevant field in a timeframe much shorter than traditional training programs,” he said.

McCourt said Austal would train a further 60 TTCG personnel on location in Trinidad and Tobago commencing in January 2010.