After nine months away from Australian shores, Kalgoorlie sailor Kaylin Coleman enjoyed an emotional family reunion when her ship pulled into Fremantle recently.
Able Seaman Coleman, who is a Boatswain’s Mate onboard Anzac Class Frigate HMAS Warramunga said after a long and successful deployment, she was happy to be home.
“It was a great deployment and my job in the Navy has given me the chance to visit places that I otherwise wouldn’t have seen,” she said.
“This included port visits to Muscat (Oman), Dar Es Salaam (Tanzania) and Goa (India). I really loved Africa where we were able to go on a safari in Tanzania to see all the wild animals, which was an amazing experience.
“But it’s wonderful to be home again.”
Able Seaman Coleman joined the Navy in 2014 after deciding she needed a change in her career.
“I was working as a dental assistant but I really wanted a change of direction so I applied for the Australian Defence Force’s Indigenous Pre-Recruit Program,” she said.
The Indigenous Pre-Recruit Program is a six-week residential course for young Indigenous adults – the course focuses on a number of key areas including character development, physical fitness and cultural appreciation.
After completing the program, successful participants have the option of joining one of the three branches of the Australian Defence Force (ADF).
“As part of the program we toured a number of Defence bases, including HMAS Kuttabul in Sydney” she said.
“The idea of being in the Navy appealed to me more than the Army or the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) so I applied to join full-time.”
As a Boatswain’s Mate, Able Seaman Coleman specialises in a range of seamanship duties, including small boat operation, line-handling and close-range weaponry.
She is also a member of the ship’s boarding party which means she is part of a specialised team that carries out boarding operations on vessels suspected of being involved in smuggling illicit narcotics and other criminal activities.
During the highly successful deployment, the crew of Warramunga intercepted 16 vessels carrying illicit narcotics; seizing a total of approximately 31.8 tonnes of hashish and two tonnes of heroin, valued at $2.17 billion.
Although Warramunga is based at Fleet Base East in Sydney, the ship spent a few days in Western Australia on its way home This gave Able Seaman Coleman the opportunity to spend time with her grandmother, Ms Elizabeth Sambo, and other members of her extended family who undertook the 1200km round-trip journey from Kalgoorlie to Perth to proudly welcome home their adventurous relative.
A week later, she was reunited with her mum, Ms Marcia Coleman, and her brother and sister when the ship pulled into Fleet Base East.
Warramunga was deployed as part of Operation MANITOU, which is the Australian Government’s contribution to support international efforts to promote maritime security, stability and prosperity in the Middle East Region.
This was Warramunga’s third deployment to the Middle East and the 66th rotation of an RAN vessel in the region since 1990.