Senior Medic up to the challenge

Published on SBLT Max Logan (author), ABIS Tara Byrne (photographer)

Topic(s): HMAS Canberra (L02), Exercise OCEAN EXPLORER

Chief Petty Officer Medic Rebecca Semmens on HMAS Canberra during Exercise OCEAN EXPLORER. (photo: ABIS Tara Byrne)
Chief Petty Officer Medic Rebecca Semmens on HMAS Canberra during Exercise OCEAN EXPLORER.

Providing strategic medical information to warships of an Amphibious Task Group is a job well suited to an experienced Senior Sailor.

Chief Petty Officer Medic Rebecca Semmens is a member of the Fleet Battle Staff medical team that embarked in HMAS Canberra during Exercise OCEAN EXPLORER 2018.

After serving in HMA Ships Kanimbla, Success and Toowoomba Chief Petty Officer Semmens found the shift to task group operations challenging but rewarding.

“OCEAN EXPLORER 2018 was my first exercise with the Amphibious Task Group and Maritime Operational Health Unit,” she said.

“Initially it was a bit overwhelming but I found my feet and enjoyed it.

“I also found it challenging, and at this point in my career what I needed to do was find something challenging and new to me.

“It was good to be back at sea.”

The medical team onboard HMAS Canberra for the exercise were in place to ensure that personnel from all ships were covered in the event of a medical emergency.

“Myself and another Chief Medic held watches around the clock so we could provide top cover for everyone working within the task group,” Chief Petty Officer Semmens said.

“Being onboard Canberra for the exercise also ensured that we gained experience for future operations and exercises.”

A Navy school visit in grade three prompted Chief Petty Officer Semmens to pursue a career in the Navy with further influence from her father who served for 22 years.