A world of oceans has opened up for a man who has landed his “ideal job” with the Royal Australian Navy.
Able Seaman Marine Technician Erik Schneider is on board the Anzac class frigate HMAS Warramunga and undertaking his first operational deployment since joining the Navy in 2014.
Warramunga departed Sydney in October to commence her nine-month deployment to the Middle East region.
Friends and family play a big part in Able Seaman Schneider’s life, and his transition from civilian life to the Navy has allowed him to be continued to be surrounded by a close-knit community.
“My family comes from Tongan heritage and we consider family very important,” Able Seaman Schneider said.
“The lifestyle I had being raised in Newcastle, surrounded by family and friends, was something I was very lucky to have.”
He said he applied for the role of a Marine Technician as it sounded really exciting.
“An opportunity to learn a hands-on trade and travel the world while making new friends seemed to me like the ideal job.”
Now Able Seaman Schneider is focusing on the task ahead as he furthers his training as a Marine Systems Technician, which includes maintaining hotel services within the ship, which has been made easier by the work undertaken by the crew in the lead-up to the deployment.
“We knew that the safety of the crew and the success of our upcoming deployment would depend on the engineering state of the ship, so we did everything in our power to make our ship the best in the Fleet,” he said.
“Not only is HMAS Warramunga our place of work, it’s also our home.
“I take great pride in knowing that all the hard work I do will affect all of my ships mates lives in a positive way.”
Able Seaman Schneider said he found saying goodbye to friends and family quite difficult but is finding what he is achieving in Warramunga very fulfilling.
“It was extremely hard to say goodbye to my loved ones on the day we sailed from Sydney,” he said.
“I know they are proud of the work I do, it is something that gives me the strength to complete such an enormous deployment away from home.
“This is a great opportunity for me, I will miss my partner, family and friends a lot but this deployment is a once in a lifetime trip for me to do what the Australian Defence Force has trained me to do.”
Warramunga is part of Operation MANITOU - Australia’s contribution to the Combined Maritime Forces in the region.