Arunta's man on a mission

Published on Department of Defence (author), LSIS Lee-Anne Mack (photographer)

Location(s): Rockingham, Western Australia

Topic(s): HMAS Arunta (F151)

Petty Officer Combat Systems Supervisor Trevor Walters, in the Operations Room onboard HMAS Arunta, alongside Fleet Base West, Garden Island.  (photo: LSIS Lee-Anne Mack)
Petty Officer Combat Systems Supervisor Trevor Walters, in the Operations Room onboard HMAS Arunta, alongside Fleet Base West, Garden Island.

Petty Officer Combat Systems Supervisor Trevor Walters recently deployed on a mission of a lifetime, to the Middle East region in HMAS Arunta.

The father of three joined the Royal Australian Navy in 2006, after finding a career working in retail wasn’t challenging him enough.

“I got tired of fruit and veg. I don’t think a 9-5 is something that I can do.  I enjoy watch-keeping and being under a bit more pressure,” Petty Officer Walters said.

“My father, Lieutenant Commander Dale Walters was in the Royal Australian Navy and served as a marine engineering officer. While my career is quite different, his job opened my eyes to military life,” Petty Officer Walter said.

As part of Arunta’s ship’s company of 191, Petty Officer Walters is employed in the Operations Room as an Aircraft Controller.

“Day to day I work in the Ops Room, which is the room that turns our ‘cruise ship’ into a warship.  I supervise the day to day running, look after the tactical picture and make sure all the personnel and equipment are attended to.”

“It can be a high pressure job on occasion depending on the situation.  The biggest thing I enjoy is that this isn’t something you can do in civilian life.”

While being away for close to nine months on Operation MANITOU will be a challenge, Petty Officer Walters says his family is well equipped.

“Fortunately we’ve known about it for a while and have had time to discuss and prepare,”

“I’ve done a few trips – Operation SLIPPER to the Gulf in 2009 as well as trips to Hawaii for Exercise RIMPAC and a missile firing,” Petty Officer Walters said.

“My wife, Kara, is a champion. She and the kids have a routine and tend to deal pretty well without me.  When I come home I am the added bonus and extra dishwasher or laundry hand!” 

“It isn’t easy missing chunks of time. When I get back my eldest daughter will be getting ready to enter her last year of primary school. It will be very exciting to see how the kids have developed over a big period of time,” Petty Officer Walters said.

It’s not only the family that he will miss, as baseball team Perth Heat’s number one designated fan, Petty Officer Walters says being absent during baseball season will be tough.

“Stepping away from the baseball world will be hard as I am the ground announcer with the Perth Heat and their number one fan," he said. 

"I also assist as a local co-host on Talking Baseball Australia podcasts, lucky I have got a lot of people who will keep me in touch via social media and email.”

Arunta 
deployed on 13 November from Garden Island, Rockingham.  Arunta is the 64th Australian Navy ship to be deployed to the region since 1990. 

During the deployment Arunta will be involved in a multinational effort to prevent terrorism, piracy and drug smuggling, encourage regional cooperation and promote a secure maritime environment in the region.