Communications sailor on task in Middle East

Published on By CPOCIS Adam Bamford (author), ABIS Steven Thomson (author)

Topic(s): Operation MANITOU, Counter-piracy, Counter-terrorism, Deployment

Able Seaman Communications and Information Systems Sean Perrett coordinates ship movements via morse code on the bridge wing of HMAS Arunta while on patrol in the Middle East region. (photo: ABIS Steven Thomson)
Able Seaman Communications and Information Systems Sean Perrett coordinates ship movements via morse code on the bridge wing of HMAS Arunta while on patrol in the Middle East region.

Part of Australia's team in the Middle East region, contributing to counter terrorism, counter piracy and narcotics interdiction operations, is a sailor more familiar with patrol boats than frigates.

Able Seaman Communication and Information Systems Sean Perrett joined HMAS Arunta in September 2016 and is responsible for the operation of communications equipment.

He is part of the 191-member crew that deployed in November 2016 bound for Operation MANITOU, Australia’s contribution to improving stability in the Middle East.

Able Seaman Perrett joined the Navy in 2012 from Cairns, Queensland, at the age of 18. Although he didn’t have any immediate family who had served in Defence, he was attracted to the Navy to learn IT, travel overseas, lead a healthy lifestyle, serve his country and gain a greater appreciation of global issues.

He previously served on Armidale class patrol boats operating out of Darwin and Cairns and said the change to a bigger ship provided opportunities.

“The Anzac class ships provide a different lifestyle than the patrol boats,”Able Seaman Perrett said.

“The communications centre has had various upgrades and there are more types of communications equipment and circuits to maintain and operate.”

Able Seaman Perrett served on the patrol boat HMAS Armidale in 2013. The boat was the first of class and at that time very advanced.

He saw it as a challenging and rewarding experience working on the new systems and being a part of Australia’s border defence.

“It was a privilege to serve and share experiences with the various crew members onboard the patrol boat,” he said.

Able Seaman Perrett believes it is an interesting time to serve in the Middle East region where Australia is helping to counter the flow of illegal drugs and weapons.

Able Seaman Perrett is looking forward to an occasional shore visit after long patrols.

This nine month deployment will be his longest time away from home compared to two months on other trips.

HMAS Arunta deployed from Garden Island, Rockingham, Western Australia and is the 64th RoyalAustralian Navy ship to be deployed to the region since 1990.

Arunta 
operates as part of the multi-national Combined Maritime Forces, supporting international efforts to promote maritime security, stability and prosperity in the Middle East region.