Australian Naval Task Force gives generously in support of new Navy charity 'Keeping Watch'

Published on LCDR Kenneth Browning (author), WO2 Rob Nyffenegger (photographer)

Topic(s): Keeping Watch

With members of Combined Task Force 150 in the background, Deputy Commander Joint Task Force 633, Commodore Phillip Spedding DSC, AM, RAN (left) and Lieutenant Joshua Watkin (right) with the cheque for $1100 raised for the Navy Charity 'Keeping Watch.' (photo: WO2 Rob Nyffenegger)
With members of Combined Task Force 150 in the background, Deputy Commander Joint Task Force 633, Commodore Phillip Spedding DSC, AM, RAN (left) and Lieutenant Joshua Watkin (right) with the cheque for $1100 raised for the Navy Charity 'Keeping Watch.'

Twenty-four Royal Australian Navy personnel have stepped up to help Royal Australian Navy members in need with a generous donation to the Keeping Watch charity.

Task Force 150, which was until recently under the command of Commodore Daryl Bates AM RAN, had been keeping watch themselves, coordinating Middle East naval operations. As the team prepared to return to Australia following a five month tour, they gathered to hand over $1100 in donations to the Deputy Commander of Joint Task Force 633, Commodore Philip Spedding DSC, AM, RAN, who accepted these on the charity’s behalf.

Lieutenant Joshua Watkin, who coordinated the fundraising, believes the money raised will go a long way.

“We have worked hard over the past five months, but we realise that it has been much harder on our families back home. It is rare that a member will not face financial challenges at one time or other during their service life,” Lieutenant Watkin said.

“We hope that this small donation may in some way help those Navy members and their families facing financial hardship or troubles, particularly those left behind battling to make ends meet when members deploy.”

Commodore Bates congratulated his team on their fundraising efforts.

“I commend the generosity of my staff and call on all Navy members to continue to support this positive initiative to help those amongst us in times of need. It is a worthy cause, and one that I am proud to support every fortnight,” Commodore Bates said.

Established by donations from senior Naval Officers, ‘Keeping Watch’ is Navy’s own charity and an avenue by which all members of the Australian community can provide assistance to those who are serving in the Royal Australian Navy and their families who are in financial need or hardship. Keeping Watch is a recognised charity and donations over $2 are tax deductible. Donations can be made at http://www.keepingwatch.org.au/

CTF 150 is a multinational maritime counter-terrorist mission in the Middle East and Indian Ocean region, operating as part of the Combined Maritime Forces, a 30 nation naval coalition.