The Middle East was a long way from home for a New South Wales south coast sailor during a recent deployment onboard HMAS Warramunga.
Able Seaman Communication and Information Systems Jacob Dun was part of a tight-knit team in the warship, which returned to Australia on Sunday 08 July after a nine-month deployment on Operation MANITOU.
Able Seaman Dun joined the Navy in 2013 after completing studies at Nowra High School.
“My grandfather was in the Navy – he was my inspiration,” he said.
“I wanted to follow in his footsteps, and as I enjoyed computers and working with technology, joining as a communications sailor seemed the logical choice.”
HMAS Warramunga is a long-range frigate capable of air defence, surface and undersea warfare, surveillance, reconnaissance and interdiction. While deployed to the Middle East, the ship and its crew conducted counter-terrorism and maritime security operations for Combined Task Force 150.
“In the lead up to our deployment we did training exercises at sea, working in company with other ships and simulating a range of scenarios we could find ourselves facing,” Able Seaman Dun said.
That training was swiftly put into action as Warramunga seized and destroyed narcotics from 16 vessels during her rotation – approximately 31.8 tonnes of hashish and two tonnes of heroin, valued in excess of AUD $2.17 billion.
Able Seaman Dun said his job as a communications sailor onboard was to disseminate information internally and externally to the ship using strategic and tactical communications systems.
“We are required to patch circuits so we can communicate with ships or aircraft via satellite systems through to using other means such as flags or Morse Code for tactical communications with vessels close by,” he said.
During his naval career, Able Seaman Dun has participated in the world's largest international maritime warfare exercise, RIMPAC, in Hawaii, and border protection operations closer to home. He said the challenge of a longer operational mission was enjoyable.
“I’ve previously deployed on Operation RESOLUTE, which is the Australian Defence Force’s contribution to protecting Australia's borders and offshore maritime interests, but this was my first time in the Middle East.
“The seizures we achieved were a great boost for morale as we knew we were making a valuable contribution within the region.”