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HMAS Creswell is a shore establishment of the Royal Australian Navy, a part of the Australian Defence Force, and consists of the Royal Australian Naval College (RANC), The RAN School of Survivability and Ship's Safety, Kalkara Flight, the Beecroft Weapons Range and an administrative support department.
The Commanding Officer of Creswell is the Superintendent of Naval Waters for Jervis Bay, and also lead authority for the conduct and management of Navy's initial entry, leadership and management training around Australia.
Parliament selected the site of Captain's Point in the Australian Capital Territory (Jervis Bay Territory) on the south coast of New South Wales, near Nowra, for the Royal Australian Naval College on 7 November 1911. While the new college was built, the RANC was temporarily located at Osborne House, Geelong. Osborne House had been considered as a permanent location for the College.
Construction of the main college buildings was completed in 1915. The senior staff bungalows were designed by John Smith Murdoch, later the Chief Architect of the Commonwealth of Australia and designer of Old Parliament House, Canberra.
The RANC, then consisting of the first two entries of cadet midshipmen, moved to Jervis Bay on 10 February 1915; however, it was moved to Flinders Naval Depot in 1930 to reduce costs during the Great Depression. To reduce overcrowding at the depot, the college moved once again to Captain's Point in 1958.
The establishment at Captain's Point was renamed HMAS Creswell in honour of Sir William Rooke Creswell, a former Lieutenant in the Royal Navy who was an important colonial naval officer, was instrumental to the formation of an independent Australian navy, and served as the First Naval Member of the Naval Board from 1911 to 1919.
The Royal Australian Naval College is Australia's authority for the basic and leadership training of officers for service in the Royal Australian Navy. The main course run at HMAS Creswell is the 22 week New Entry Officers Course (NEOC) which provides initial entry training for most of the RAN's officers. Also conducted at the RANC is the residential component of the Reserve Entry Officers Course (REOC).
Further training for officers such as the Junior Officers Leadership Course and Junior Officers Management and Staff Course also take place at the RANC.
NEOC is undertaken by direct entry officers, graduate entry officers, and candidates who intend to proceed to ADFA to gain their degree. Generally, trainees who have no university education or a three year degree enter the college as Midshipmen, whilst trainees with significant experience or more university education enter as Sub-Lieutenants, Lieutenants and Chaplains.
After completing training at the college, officers proceed to other establishments for primary qualification training. Locations include HMAS Watson, for Junior Warfare Officers (formerly known as Seamen Officers), and HMAS Cerberus, for Weapons Electrical Engineer, Marine Engineer and Supply officers.
Subjects studied at NEOC include:
The course includes two periods of sea training:
The RAN School of Ship Survivability and Safety, colloquially known as the "school of many S's", is the primary CBRN and damage control training facility for the RAN in eastern Australia and is located about 3 kilometres south of HMAS Creswell. Its facilities include two firefighting training units and a floodable mock-up of ships compartments, known as "Counter-Sink".
Beecroft Weapons Range, located on Beecroft Head, is a live fire range for conducting Naval Gunfire Support (NGS) exercises.