Conducting maritime security operations on a warship in the Middle East was a career milestone that one particular Royal Australian Navy sailor was very keen to achieve.
Leading Seaman Nathan Kallin is now realising that ambition on a six-month Operation MANITOU deployment on board HMAS Newcastle.
Employed as an electronics technician, Leading Seaman Kallin has an important job, ensuring the ship is ready to fight.
“I work in a team that looks after the fire control radar onboard, which allows us to track and engage aircraft and surface targets with the gun and missiles,” he said.
“We’re the heart of the combat system. We’ve got stokers that make electricity and the ship move, but we are the guys that look after the ship being able to fight,” Leading Seaman Kallin said.
“I like to think that if you don’t have us, you don’t have a warship!”
During the deployment, Newcastle is working as part Combined Maritime Forces, a multinational naval partnership focussed on defeating terrorism, preventing piracy and promoting a safe maritime environment in the Middle East region.
Newcastle is the fourth Adelaide class frigate that Leading Seaman Kallin has served in and says he feels proud to be on the last Australian guided missile frigate deployment to the region.
“Most of my career I’ve been on Adelaides. I’ve served in HMA Ships Darwin, Melbourne and I helped decommission Sydney in 2015. Now I’m in Newcastle,” he said.
“I’ll be sad to see them go, but they are making way for the air warfare destroyers, which will give us an improved war-fighting ability,” Leading Seaman Kallin said.
After seven years in Navy, he said he is very pleased to deploy, but is looking forward to relaxing on his return.
“I’m on the 65th rotation of an Australian Navy ship to the region since 1990, so I’ve seen a lot of friends deploy before me. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do,” he said.
“You do your training, and deploying now feels like I’ve gone the full circle.”