HMAS Waller recently arrived in Cairns for a Scheduled Maintenance Period after successfully participating in multi-national exercise TALISMAN SABRE.
The exercise, which occurs every two years in tropical Queensland, included United States, Australian and Spanish units and provided valuable experience in multi-national operations.
While alongside in Cairns, Waller has been busy hosting several tour groups, including the local fire brigade, naval cadets, prospective navy enlistees and members from the Submarine Association Australia.
Waller’s Commanding Officer, Commander Michael Jacobson also hosted a Commanding Officer’s Dinner attended by a number of Cairns dignitaries. The dinner provided a rare opportunity for a select few North Queensland locals to have a private tour of the submarine.
“While Waller’s crew is enjoying their stay in the tropical paradise that is Cairns they have also been completing the scheduled maintenance period requirements,” CMDR Jacobson said.
“The visit allows all members of the ships company to reflect on a busy operational period since departing Fleet Base West,” he said.
During time off from the maintenance period activities the crew members have enjoyed snorkelling trips to the reef and cable skiing.
Leading Seaman Timothy McLaughlin, an Electronic Warfare submariner, described his favourite part of the visit to Cairns as simply “the food.”
For some, like Petty Officer Electrical Warfare Michael Sanders, it’s a return to their roots.
“It’s good to be back in Queensland,” said PO Sanders.
Others, like Leading Seaman Marine Technician David Koczan, found it was a combination of many things.
“It’s a combination of the weather and the outstanding food.”
Many of the crew have utilised the port visit to fly their loved ones to Cairns, providing some quality time together during their deployment.
Waller's visit to Cairns is the first submarine visit since HMAS Collins visited in September 2010.