Arunta posting brings adventure

This article has photo gallery Published on Ms Natalie Staples (author), LSIS Lee-Anne Mack (photographer)

Topic(s): Operations, Operation MANITOU, Ships, Boats and Submarines, Frigate Helicopter (FFH), HMAS Arunta (F151), Drug interdiction, Counter-terrorism, Deployment

Able Seaman Boatswains Mate Matthew Parry, wearing his Boarding Party gear onboard HMAS Arunta. (photo: LSIS Lee-Anne Mack)
Able Seaman Boatswains Mate Matthew Parry, wearing his Boarding Party gear onboard HMAS Arunta.

For Able Seaman Boatswains Mate Matthew Parry, deploying on a warship to the Middle East region to conduct maritime security operations is the stuff dreams are made of.

The adventurous 20-year old who grew up in Maida Vale, in the Perth hills, had a big smile on his face when he talked about his nine-month deployment in HMAS Arunta for Operation MANITOU.

“This is my first operational deployment, and I’m enjoying being able to travel and do the job that I’ve trained to do,” he said.

“Between February and our departure in November we were working hard to prepare, so it is great to put what we’ve learnt into practice and make a difference."

Working as part of the boarding party, Able Seaman Parry is at the frontline of some of the important work being undertaken by the Australian frigate during her maritime security patrols, which certainly don't stop over the Christmas period.

“I’m part of Arunta’s boarding party capability when we see vessels of interest we can go and physically board them and do what we need to do onboard.  This might include looking for narcotics and weapons or doing flag verifications to see where they’re coming from.”

With his father in the Royal Navy, Able Seaman Parry said he always wanted a military career.

“Ever since I was a little kid I wanted to join the military.  Dad was a communicator in the Royal Navy and did Morse code back in the day.  He’s a bit sad I didn’t go into his branch, but I wanted my own career. He’s pretty proud, though.”

While Able Seaman Parry is enjoying the deployment, the talented soccer player  - who was part of a specialist soccer program at Darling Range Sports College, says he will miss the start of the season.

“I play left or right back with Port Kennedy soccer club.  I let the boys know a few weeks back that I won’t be able to start the season, but I hope if they do well I may be able to finish it with them.”

HMAS 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 Middle East region.