The Defence Force School of Signals – Maritime Communication Information Systems Wing (DFSS-MCISW) marked 100 years of communications training at HMAS Cerberus on July 1.

Despite COVID-19 travel restrictions, Commandant of the Defence Command Support Training Centre Colonel Ed Wunsch was able to attend the celebrations and reviewed the wing's parade.

The school then marched to the Southern Cross Cinema where Director General Navy Information Warfare Commodore Matthew Doornbos and Warrant Officer of the Navy Deb Butterworth addressed staff, students and distinguished guests via Skype.

Commodore Doornbos spoke of the capability reforms emerging in the information warfare community, and the influence those changes were having on training.

“The ability to provide fit-for-purpose training in time to match the capability delivered will need to find a balance through flexible delivery. This is the ultimate challenge,” Commodore Doornbos said.

Commodore Doornbos also spoke about the recent recognition of the skills and training within the maritime intelligence community through a Memorandum of Understanding signed with Charles Sturt University. 

Officer Commanding DFSS-MCISW Lieutenant Commander Nathan Cole said the anniversary was an important milestone in the school’s history.

He told the story of Lieutenant William David Hunter. 

“Lieutenant Hunter started his career as a Boy Signals, who rapidly advanced to become a RAN Signals Officer and inaugural officer-in-charge of the original School of Signals at Cerberus in 1921,” Lieutenant Commander Cole said.

“A plaque will be laid at his final resting place in Sydney later this year, recognising both his and the many officers and sailors whose service helped shape the communications workgroup over the past century.”

Following the centenary ceremony, a morning tea was held at Club Cerberus, where Lieutenant Commander Cole and Seaman Star Veronekh Ranga cut the commemorative cake. 

“It was unfortunate recent COVID-19 restrictions impacted our commemoration activities and attendance numbers, but I am proud that our staff, students and trainees have done generations of communications sailors proud in commemorating this significant milestone,” Lieutenant Commander Cole said.