Silent service secrets revealed

This article has photo gallery Published on Mr Andrew Bujdegan (author), CPOIS Damian Pawlenko (photographer)

Location(s): HMAS Stirling

Topic(s): HMAS Stirling, HMAS Waller (S75)

Lieutenant Craig Paterson shows Ms Jade King (right), Petty Officer Maritime Logistics-Personnel Natasja Toser (left) and his wife, Mrs Deb Paterson, the workings of HMAS Waller's periscope during a families day at sea. (photo: CPOIS Damian Pawlenko)
Lieutenant Craig Paterson shows Ms Jade King (right), Petty Officer Maritime Logistics-Personnel Natasja Toser (left) and his wife, Mrs Deb Paterson, the workings of HMAS Waller's periscope during a families day at sea.

The crew of HMAS Waller had the unique opportunity to show their family members what they do when they go to sea on a recent sea ride from HMAS Stirling at Rockingham to the Port of Fremantle.   

The visitors were treated to a hands-on adventure which included several hours with the submarine dived as Waller sailed in preparation for Port of Fremantle Maritime Day activities.

Many had never been underway in a submarine and were treated to viewing live information on the displays as well as noting the skill and expertise of each crew member as they conducted their tasks and worked professionally together as a team. 

Commanding Officer Waller, Commander Richard Lindsey said sea rides provided an opportunity for families that helped those at home in their support for serving members.

“Watching their mum, dad or a partner at work gives families a better understanding of what we do when we go to sea,” he said.

Submarines often deploy for long periods with limited communication and sea rides often provide a window into the life of a loved one when away.

Samantha Forward, daughter of Waller Executive Officer Lieutenant Commander Chris Forward said it was a wonderful experience.

“I got to listen to whales and ships on sonar and see where my dad sleeps and eats when he is onboard,” Miss Forward said.

It is not unusual for children to follow in their parents’ footsteps and immersive exposure often allows them to visualise a career pathway. 

To be a submariner, students need to choose subjects that will position them for a military career, with a strong emphasis on maths, science and technology.