Brian and Kerry Taylor from the Far North Queensland Tablelands town of Atherton couldn't be prouder of their three dutiful children.
Sons, Jason and Brendon are both serving in the Army and have each completed multiple tours in Afghanistan, while Daughter Nicole is in the Royal Australian Navy and will depart on a six month deployment to the Middle East Area of Operations (MEAO) on Sunday, in the Australian warship HMAS Melbourne.
When the Adelaide class Guided Missile Frigate (FFG) leaves Fleet Base East this weekend, Leading Seaman Combat Systems Operator (LSCSO) Taylor will be embarking on her second deployment to the MEAO as part of Operation SLIPPER. Previously, she deployed to the region in HMAS Stuart in 2009.
LS Taylor attended Atherton State High School, where she particularly enjoyed Travel and Tourism studies. This love for travel, coupled with a love for being on the water, was what inspired her to join the Navy in 2005.
As an Above Water Warfare specialist sailor, LS Taylor works in the frigate's Operations Room which is manned 24 hours a day, in readiness to detect enemy forces or defend the ship against any threat, on, above or below the waterline.
Along with her 240 shipmates, the Atherton native is currently making her final pre-deployment preparations. Their job in the MEAO will involve conducting Maritime Security Patrols in support of Operation SLIPPER.
LS Taylor lists frequent travel and being immersed in other cultures as her career highlights to date. Not surprisingly, she eagerly anticipates this deployment.
There is, however, a bitter-sweet aspect to the time LS Taylor will spend away from home. She’ll leave behind her five year old son, Coby Jay, for the third time since joining the Navy.
“His father will look after him,” LS Taylor said. “But, I’m already looking forward to being reunited with him, and the rest of my family, and to spending some quality time with them when I get home,” she said.
Melbourne’s deployment with be the 56th rotation of an Australian warship to the MEAO since 1990. She will relieve HMAS Newcastle, which is currently on station in the region.