Fleet Commander at 24

This article has photo gallery Published on ABIS Shane Cameron (author and photographer)

Topic(s): HMAS Canberra (L02)

Leading Seaman Boatswains Mate Nicholas Peters on board a LHD Landing Craft during Exercise TALISMAN SABRE 2019. (photo: ABIS Shane Cameron)
Leading Seaman Boatswains Mate Nicholas Peters on board a LHD Landing Craft during Exercise TALISMAN SABRE 2019.

He may not be running the entire Royal Australian Navy Fleet, but Leading Seaman Boatswains Mate Nicholas Peters is currently responsible for commanding HMAS Canberra’s fleet of LHD Landing Craft (LLC).

He left Brisbane in 2013 to join the Navy at the age of 18, and in just six years has been made responsible not only for Canberra’s landing craft, but also the men and women who crew them - a role normally held by a Petty Officer. 

In the role, Leading Seaman Peters can be in control of up to eight landing craft at any one time.

“I really enjoy giving a task to my team and seeing them execute it well.

“It’s nice to know I have a team that I can rely on, and it’s very rewarding to see a task carried out from start to finish,” Leading Seaman Peters said.

As Senior Boat Coxswain, Leading Seaman Peters is primarily responsible for coordinating the movement of the landing craft to ensure they’re in the most efficient formation for the task.

His role also includes deciding which craft will arrive at a beach landing first, for safe delivery of personnel and equipment.

Chief Petty Officer Boatswain Sean Conway selected Leading Seaman Peters to act in the role of Senior Boat Coxswain and said he was the right man for the job.

“Nick is the most qualified across the board, has the most experience and is very mature for his age.

“There was no doubt in my mind that he was the most suitable for the role,” Chief Petty Officer Conway said.

As part of his responsibilities, Leading Seaman Peters took a leading role in the planning and execution of a landing craft exercise held earlier this year, aptly named Grey Anchor.

During the exercise, he coordinated independent missions, conducted live firing from sea to shore, and organised medical planning for the mission. 

With plenty of experience under his belt, Leading Seaman Peters has now been paneled for his Petty Officers promotion course at the end of his posting on board HMAS Canberra

He then hopes to fulfil a role as an instructor at the Sailors Leaderships and Management Faculty, before returning to sea as a fully qualified Landing Craft Fleet Commander.