Army Corporal Julie Kling is looking forward to coming home to Townsville but her mode of transport is a little different this trip.
Corporal Kling is an Ammunition Technician and is currently serving on the Royal Australian Navy’s newest and largest ship, HMAS Canberra.
Canberra is based at Fleet Base East in Sydney and this visit to Townsville will mark the first port visit outside of Sydney.
Corporal Kling is originally from Mt Isa but moved to Townsville in 2007 when she joined the Army.
“Many of my family served in the armed forces and I wanted to join since I was younger,” Corporal Kling said.
“I wanted the challenge and also enjoy keeping fit.”
As an Ammunition Technician onboard her role is to provide technical and safety advice to the ship’s command team on the Army ammunition that the embarked forces will carry.
Her posting onboard Canberra is her first with the Navy and she has found there are a few new things to learn.
“At sea there are different protocols and regulations for the handling of ammunition,” she said.
“I’ve also had to integrate into the systems and lifestyle like trying to exercise on a rocking ship.”
While in her home port, Corporal Kling plans to visit her son, Aidan, and her parents, Trevor and Adrianne, who live in Bowen.
Canberra has been off the Australian east coast conducting First of Class Flight Trials and will visit Townsville over the weekend of 27 March when the ship will be open to the public for the first time.
The trials are part of a program designed prepare she ship and her crew for future operational tasking.
Commissioned in November 2014, Canberra is the first of two Landing Helicopter Docks to be introduced to Navy. The ship has a crew of 400 and is capable of embarking over 1,000 troops and their cargo that can be landed ashore by helicopters or state of the art landing craft.