All at sea for fifth Middle East deployment

Published on CAPT Megan McDermott (author), ABIS Nicolas Gonzalez (photographer)

Topic(s): Operation MANITOU, HMAS Newcastle (F06), Drug interdiction, Counter-piracy, Counter-terrorism, Deployment

Petty Officer Boatswain Stephen Kypreos stands on the gun direction platform of HMAS Newcastle whilst on Operation Manitou in the Middle East Region. (photo: ABIS Nicolas Gonzalez)
Petty Officer Boatswain Stephen Kypreos stands on the gun direction platform of HMAS Newcastle whilst on Operation Manitou in the Middle East Region.
Father of four, Petty Officer Boatswain Stephen Kypreos, had to settle for a long-distance Father’s Day this year, as he’s on operational service in the Middle East, serving in HMAS Newcastle.
 
Newcastle is currently deployed on Operation MANITOU in direct support of the United Staes-led Combined Maritime Forces in the region.
 
The Combined Maritime Forces undertake security operations, including counter piracy and counter terrorism patrols across some of the world’s most important shipping lanes.
 
Petty Officer Kypreos said although he misses his wife, Paras, and four kids aged 10, 11, 6 and 17 months, with four previous deployments to the Gulf region, he knows what to expect when it comes to spending time away from family.
 
“The Navy has taken me all over the world with multiple trips South-East Asia, the Solomon Islands, Timor and Hawaii - this is my fifth deployment to the Middle East,” Petty Officer Kypreos said.
 
“My family is used to me being away, so I know they are well prepared and have a good support network.”
 
With his attention focussed on the mission at hand, he said he is looking forward to getting the job done.
 
Petty Officer Kypreos is one of Newcastle’s senior Boatswains, and his role is to supervise the junior Boatswains as they undertake seamanship, ships husbandry, ceremonial and other duties.
 
“Boatswain sailors are the Navy’s close range weapons specialists, maintaining and operating Newcastle’s small arms weaponry,” he said.
 
“They also undertake seamanship and provide specialist knowledge on anchor work, rope work, small boat handling and operations, berthing, towing and replenishment at sea.”
 
With more than 50,000 ships passing through Combined Maritime Forces area of responsibility each year, Petty Officer Kypreos and his crew will be kept busy with routine operations and the identification and intercepting of suspected smuggling vessels. 
 
Despite this, Petty Officer Kypreos does his best to keep in touch with his family and is looking forward to seeing them when Newcastle completes her mission.  
 
“I’m looking forward to reuniting with my family over a barbecue and beer as well as a sneaky Chiko roll.”
 
Newcastle returns to her home-port in Sydney in December this year.