Maritime medical mastery in the Middle East

Published on CPL Sebastian Beurich (author), ABIS Nicolas Gonzalez (photographer)

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

Seaman Medical Chelsea Deenan is seen in the sickbay of HMAS Newcastle in the Middle East region.  (photo: ABIS Nicolas Gonzalez)
Seaman Medical Chelsea Deenan is seen in the sickbay of HMAS Newcastle in the Middle East region.
Working in the sickbay of one of Navy’s warships is no easy task, as Seaman Medic Chelsea Deenen has found out through her deployment to the Middle East on Operation MANITOU.
 
Seaman Deenen, who originally hails from Leongatha, Victoria, is one of the medical specialist sailors onboard HMAS Newcastle.
 
The ship’s operations contribute to the international effort to promote maritime security, stability and prosperity in the region.
 
Dealing with the day-to-day running of the sickbay, and the wide range of illnesses which may occur is one of Seaman Deenen’s main responsibilities in Newcastle.
 
“My job is all about seeing patients, conducting daily medical checks and completing the associated administration,” she said.
 
“The medical team also conducts regular training for the ship’s medical emergency team.
 
“It is made up of other members of the ship’s company, as they are the ones who will be the first responders to any injuries.”
 
This is Seaman Deenen’s first deployment with the Navy and she said she said she was looking forward to experiencing different parts of the world, as the ship stops off at ports in the Middle East region.
 
“I’m really looking forward to experiencing the different cultures we’ll encounter throughout the deployment,” she said.
 
“Along the way, we’ll be working in some unique environments with their own unique challenges, which is an exciting thought.”
 
Seaman Deenen’s parents and sister Georgia were on the wharf to send off the ship’s company.
 
“I visited home about two weeks before we deployed in May, which really brought back memories of camping with my friends and spending days riding our horses on the trails,” she said.
 
“When I get home, I’m looking forward to catching up with my family and friends.”

Newcastle returns to her home port at Fleet Base East, Sydney in December this year.
 
MANITOU is the name for the Australian Government's contribution to support international efforts to promote maritime security, stability and prosperity in the Middle East region.

Newcastle’s deployment marks the 65th rotation of a Navy vessel to the region since 1990.