Family focus for patrol boats

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Todd Fitzgerald (author), ABIS Kayla Hayes (photographer)

Location(s): HMAS Coonawarra

Topic(s): HMAS Coonawarra, Patrol Boat (PB)

Captain Patrol Boats, Captain Jason Hunter, RAN, with his wife Susan and their daughters Darcy and Molly during the 'pre-deployment' brief for Patrol Boat partners and families at HMAS Coonawarra, Northern Territory. (photo: ABIS Kayla Hayes)
Captain Patrol Boats, Captain Jason Hunter, RAN, with his wife Susan and their daughters Darcy and Molly during the 'pre-deployment' brief for Patrol Boat partners and families at HMAS Coonawarra, Northern Territory.

Navy personnel in Darwin have attended a family event that aimed to raise awareness of the services available to partners and families of deployed Navy members.

The event was run by the combined teams of Patrol Boat Headquarters and HMAS Coonawarra, involving five Navy support agencies, including Defence Families of Australia and Defence Community Organisation.

Captain Patrol Boats Captain Jason Hunter said the event was important given the often high tempo of patrol boat operations and the remote location of bases.

He said strong families made for a stronger Navy.

“Deployments and lengthy periods away from home are a fact of life in the Royal Australian Navy, and it can be a challenging time for the partners and families of members left at home,” Captain Hunter said.

“There is, however, a raft of support services available to them to ensure they are looked after.

“Knowledge of those services is important to the deployed member also. It offers them peace of mind to know their family will be looked after while they are away from home in service of their country.

“That peace of mind allows them to focus on the job at hand,” he said.

Captain Hunter said the event was the first in a series that sought to make service in patrol boats more attractive to the wider Navy community and their families.

Patrol Boats contribute the bulk of Navy’s effort to Operation RESOLUTE – the Australian Defence Force’s contribution to the whole-of-government effort to protect Australia’s borders and offshore maritime interests.

They participate in a number of regional, bilateral and multilateral exercises primarily within South East Asia and the South West Pacific.

Patrol boats are located in Coonawarra and HMAS Cairns, in Cairns.

The Department of Veterans’ Affairs, the Veterans and Veterans’ Families Counselling Service and Navy Health also took part.