Reflections on service, pride and enjoyment

Published on LEUT Will Singer (author), ABIS Steven Thomson (photographer)

Topic(s): Operations, Operation MANITOU, HMAS Arunta (F151)

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.
It’s no secret that global travel is one of the most exciting parts of life in the Navy and for many serving members past and present the further they sail the more professionally rewarding it gets.
 
In 2016, Able Seaman Communication and Information Systems Sean Perrett deployed with HMAS Arunta’s crew promoting security, stability and prosperity in the Middle East region to Operation MANITOU.
 
Able Seaman Perrett reflected on his personal experiences during the many ports of call when the Anzac class frigate steamed more than 49,000 nautical miles around the region.
 
“National pride motivated me to join the Royal Australian Air Force Cadets which was my first stepping stone for a taste of military life before joining the Royal Australian Navy over five years ago,” Able Seaman Perrett said.
 
“I had a passion to join the military since being a young child and both my great grandparents were signallers in the Australian Army during the Second World War.
 
“My job in the fleet offers me the opportunity to travel all around the world while at work.
 
“For me, completing the longest Middle Eastern deployment of an Australian Navy vessel since the first Gulf War is a personal achievement that I will never forget.
 
Arunta was tasked to provide essential support to Coalition maritime security operations throughout the Indian Ocean.
 
“My contribution during the nine month deployment meant maintaining communications circuits 24/7 and co-ordinating tactical manoeuvring of ships in company while running damage control communications.
 
“One of the challenges for me was keeping a watch in the middle of the night.”
 
Another highlight was participating in ship-run activities in foreign countries and sporting fixture with foreign militaries.
 
“We had some memorable port visits including Arunta’s visit to the Seychelles, an archipelago of islands off East Africa,” he said.
 
“Regular exercise is an important part of my service life and I maintained my fitness by hiking around the island and enjoyed some time-off on the stunning beaches of the Seychelles.
 
“I had the unique experience of sensational game viewing on the endless plains of the Serengeti during a safari in Tanzania while alongside in Africa – a first for me.”