A great start as Success nears finish

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT John Thompson (author), LSIS Christopher Szumlanski (photographer)

Topic(s): HMAS Success (OR 304), Indo-Pacific Endeavour

Commanding Officer of HMAS Success, Captain Darren Grogan, CSM, RAN, takes a selfie with the Phase 2 Midshipmen embarked aboard HMAS Success during INDO-PACIFIC ENDEAVOUR 2019. (photo: LSIS Christopher Szumlanski)
Commanding Officer of HMAS Success, Captain Darren Grogan, CSM, RAN, takes a selfie with the Phase 2 Midshipmen embarked aboard HMAS Success during INDO-PACIFIC ENDEAVOUR 2019.

As HMAS Success comes to the end of her Navy service, a group of midshipmen aboard the First Lady of the Fleet are starting theirs.

The ten midshipmen – five men and five women aged between 20 and 29 – are undertaking the at-sea component of their training during INDO-PACIFIC ENDEAVOUR 2019 (IPE19).

They are under the watchful eye of training officer Lieutenant Shane Wallace.

“This is the first time the midshipmen have been to sea so it has been a steep learning curve for them,” Lieutenant Wallace said.

Midshipman Lauren Anstey, 27, was previously an air surveillance operator with the Royal Australian Air Force at RAAF Base Williamtown in NSW.

“I had achieved everything I wanted in the Air Force and was looking for a new challenge – the sea seemed more appealing than the land, coming from Port Stephens on the NSW coast,” Midshipman Anstey said.

Aged 20, Midshipman Sam Rembridge, from Campbelltown in Sydney’s south-west, is one of the youngest on board and was destined to join the Navy.

His father, grandfather, godfather and several uncles served in the Royal Navy.

“This experience has exceeded all my expectations,” Midshipman Rembridge said.

“I love the lifestyle and routine on board. I’ve also been able to visit places that I never thought I’d ever see with people who have now become good friends.”

The oldest of the group is Midshipman James Virgo, 29, from Adelaide. He has degrees in Applied Science (Civil Aviation) and International Relations, and a decade of experience in the Army Reserve.

“Being on Success has been a unique opportunity – the fact that we’re on a ship that is decommissioning, on a deployment through the Indo-Pacific, visiting some amazing places with a great command and crew is brilliant,” Midshipman Virgo said.

Lieutenant Wallace said the group was showing officer-like qualities.

“This experience will give them the building blocks they need to go on and become future Navy leaders,” Lieutenant Wallace said.

HMAS Success is due to return to Australia at the end of the month ahead of her decommissioning on 29 June.