Busy bridge for junior MWO

Published on SBLT Max Logan (author), LSIS Kayla Jackson (photographer)

Topic(s): HMAS Anzac (F150), South East Asia Deployment

Sub Lieutenant Jemma Dart on HMAS Anzac's bridge wing during the South East Asia Deployment. (photo: LSIS Kayla Jackson)
Sub Lieutenant Jemma Dart on HMAS Anzac's bridge wing during the South East Asia Deployment.

Visiting busy overseas ports and sailing with foreign navies was standard practice for Maritime Warfare Officers during HMAS Anzac’s recent South East Asia Deployment.

Sub Lieutenant Jemma Dart is a junior Maritime Warfare Officer and joined the helicopter frigate Anzac in December 2017. Her primary role is to take charge of the bridge as the Officer of the Watch, overseeing the  navigation and safety of the ship.

The South East Asia Deployment afforded her an abundance of new experiences, valuable training opportunities and an exciting way to see the world.

After growing up in the town of Nowra, New South Wales - home of the Navy’s flying base HMAS Albatross, with the Officer training school HMAS Creswell to the east - Sub Lieutenant Dart was never far from the RAN.

“When I was younger, I had the chance to do work experience at HMAS Creswell,” she said.

“I spent a week working on the tugboats when they were crewed by the RAN.

“We conducted toxic hazard and damage control exercises and I thought: this would be a cool job. I could do this one day.

In February 2015, Sub Lieutenant Dart returned to Creswell, this time attending Royal Australian Naval College for the New Entry Officers’ Course (NEOC) 52. After graduating, she began the Junior Warfare Application Course (JWAC) and served in HMA Ships Diamantina, Maryborough and Parramatta.

Anzac’s South East Asia Deployment marked her first time serving overseas and first visit to the region. It was a steep learning curve.

“Sailing into big ports in South East Asia was different to back home in Australia.

“There were a lot of ships and small vessels, which made things pretty busy.

As part of the South East Asia Deployment, Anzac participated in Multilateral Naval Exercise KOMODO off the coast of Indonesia and Exercise LUMBAS in the Philippines.

“Working with other navies was really good. I found their methods of operating were similar but with a few differences.

“Conducting Passage Exercises and Officer of the Watch Manoeuvres with these nations was a great experience.

Sub Lieutenant Dart is an aspiring navigator with hopes of completing the Intermediate Navigation Course and subsequently serving as the Navigating Officer onboard patrol boats, before returning to major fleet units.

HMAS Anzac has returned from South East Asia after approximately three months, where she visited a number of ports to build regional partnerships.