North Queenslander Able Seaman Boatswains Mate Trey Norway is helping stop the illegal drug trade in the Arabian Sea.
Able Seaman Norway is deployed onboard HMAS Melbourne, which is patrolling the Middle East as part of Operation MANITOU, Australia's contribution to the Combined Maritime Forces in the region. The ship is undertaking patrols to intercept the smuggling of drugs that help fund international terrorism.
Able Seaman Norway’s seamanship duties include force protection and watch-keeping on Melbourne’s gun control deck and maintaining weapons such as the .50cal and MAG58 machineguns as well as his issued weapons.
He said he felt lucky to be deployed on operations straight out of his initial training at HMAS Cerberus in Victoria.
“Not many Australians get the opportunity to serve our country like this and I am proud of the success of Melbourne’s first patrol with the interdiction of more than 400kg of heroin,” Able Seaman Norway said.
“The most exciting part of this tour was watching the action of the first boarding and search of a suspected vessel.
“I feel as though we are making a difference.”
After leaving Mackay with his parents to live in Mt Isa, Able Seaman Norway finished his school years at Spinifex State High School before trying his hand at working in the mining industry.
He then move to Cairns and his interest was sparked in a career in the Navy after speaking with his cousin, Able Seaman Boatswains Mate Kyh Mye, who is currently at HMAS Kuttabul, in Sydney, and thought being a sailor sounded like a great job.
With his South Sea Islander and Aboriginal background Able Seaman Norway was selected to join the Defence Indigenous Development Program for a five-month residential course.
The course focused on education, fitness, military skills, cultural appreciation, character building and leadership.
Able Seaman Norway said the program gave him the extra skills, knowledge and attitude to apply for a full-time Navy career.
“I have found it to be a great career and my family are very proud of me,” he said.
“I am enjoying my life at sea on Melbourne - the crew is great and good at giving each other support when needed.
“My goal is to gain more competencies on different machinery, such as the crane and cherry-picker, so I can be more versatile with my skills on the ship.
“I do miss my family, as I have never been so far from home, but I try to stay in touch with them as much as I can by telephone or the internet.”