Navy invests in vests

This article has photo gallery Published on LCDR Helen Ward (author), CPL Craig Barrett (photographer)

Location(s): Avalon International Airshow 2017

Topic(s): Avalon International Airshow 2017

Leading Seaman Boatswains Mate Kerin Young (front) displays the Boarding Life Jacket Load Bearing on the Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat with Able Seaman Boatswains Mate Jarryd Parsons at the Australian International Airshow at Avalon. (photo: CPL Craig Barrett)
Leading Seaman Boatswains Mate Kerin Young (front) displays the Boarding Life Jacket Load Bearing on the Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat with Able Seaman Boatswains Mate Jarryd Parsons at the Australian International Airshow at Avalon.

Sailors at the Australian International Airshow at Avalon have had a very important piece of new kit to show the public.

The item officially known in Royal Australian Navy parlance as the 'Boarding Life Jacket Load Bearing', is a new capability that turns three items of Navy equipment in one.

Sailors from the Seamanship School at HMAS Cerberus were kept busy answering questions about the new jacket which will be used by members of Australian Navy boarding parties.

Leading Seaman Boatswains Mate Kerin Young and Able Seaman Boatswains Mate Jarryd Parsons took turns modelling the jacket in the stifling heat and dust at Avalon.

“The new integrated boarding life jacket brings together webbing, a life jacket and body armour, in one tailor-made solution,” Leading Seaman Young said.

The new jackets are more buoyant, and had advanced safety features.

“They’re easier to put on and get off, more breathable, and hug the body better. For the first time, they allow for both manual and automatic inflation.”

Also on display was a Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat to demonstrate boarding party capabilities.

Chief Petty Officer Combat System Manager Sean Huxtable was fielding questions about boarding party roles from the crowd.

Although it is a long way from the sea, crowds have been lining up to climb the stairs to see inside the boat.

“A lot of people have watched the Sea Patrol TV show and want to know more about the boat and what the sailors do when they are in the boarding party,” Chief Petty Officer Huxtable said.

“I guess we can thank the show for creating interest and hope some of the people asking questions make enquiries over at the Defence Force Recruiting stand."