Sensors sailor relishes operational role

This article has photo gallery Published on Ms Natalie Staples (author), LSIS Lee-Anne Mack (photographer)

Topic(s): Operation MANITOU, HMAS Arunta (F151)

Able Seaman Combat Systems Operator Andrew Dingle, in front of HMAS Arunta alongside at Fleet Base West, Garden Island. (photo: LSIS Lee-Anne Mack)
Able Seaman Combat Systems Operator Andrew Dingle, in front of HMAS Arunta alongside at Fleet Base West, Garden Island.

Able Seaman Combat Systems Operator Andrew Dingle is realising his career aspirations onboard HMAS Arunta as part of the Royal Australian Navy team sailing to the Middle East.

Able Seaman Dingle deployed recently as part of a 191 member crew bound for Operation MANITOU - Australia’s contribution to counter terrorism, counter piracy, narcotics interdiction which contributes significantly to stability in the region.

This is the first time Able Seaman Dingle has left Australia onboard a Navy ship and he said the three year wait had been worth it.

“I joined the Navy to do this sort of stuff and I’ve finally got into a position where I’m doing the job I signed up for,” he said.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing more of the world and immersing myself in cultures. I’m pretty interested to see the Arabian perspective,” Able Seaman Dingle said.

Able Seaman Dingle joined the Navy in 2013 and says after a few false starts and has found a career he really enjoys.

“Out of high school I planned to join the Army as a rifleman, but a motorbike accident prevented that, so then I explored a job with the police and did a bachelor of policing.  

“In the end though I joined the Navy, as it looked like a good fit,” Able Seaman Dingle said.  

Able Seaman Dingle specialised in underwater sensors and works as the eyes and ears of the ship.

“Day to day it means I monitor maritime traffic in the operations room and make sure that I can provide a clear maritime picture to command to use as they see fit,” he said.

“I work week about with another sailor as a bowman.  When a boarding operation is called, I go in the boat and work alongside the coxswains and make sure the boarding operations go smoothly,” Able Seaman Dingle said.

While nine-months away from home will be hard, Able Seaman Dingle said his family is proud.

“It’ll be tough to say good-bye to my wife Krystal and son Kingston.  We have been preparing ourselves for it and I’ve done everything I can to make sure things are in place for them while I’m away.

“Mum and Dad are really happy and proud that I have found a stable job that I enjoy,” Able Seaman Dingle said.

HMAS Arunta deployed on 13 November from Garden Island, Rockingham, Western Australia.  Arunta is the 64th Australian Navy ship to be deployed to the region since 1990.