Able Seaman Chris Fairley is a Melbourne man through and through. Not only is he from the city of Melbourne, but he’s also preparing to deploy to the Middle East Area of Operations (MEAO) on Sunday in the Australian warship HMAS Melbourne.
The 20 year old from the suburb of Ringwood is a Marine Technician in the Royal Australian Navy. This weekend, AB Fairley and his 240 shipmates will depart Fleet Base East to start their journey to the MEAO, where they’ll join the international campaign against terrorism, piracy and smuggling as part of Operation SLIPPER.
Prior to joining the Navy in 2011, AB Fairley belonged to the Australian Naval Cadets unit Training Ship Melbourne. He attended Norwood Secondary College where he enjoyed Economics, Legal Studies and Systems engineering; the latter standing him in good stead for his career choice in the Australian Defence Force.
As a Marine Technician, AB Fairley’s job involves maintaining and conducting repairs on the ship’s mechanical equipment and hull, keeping engineering watches in the Central Control Station (CCS) and conducting rounds to inspect all of the ship’s machinery spaces.
The proud sailor is continuing his family’s history of service in the ADF. His Father served in the Royal Air Force as did both of his paternal grandparents. It was an overwhelming desire to serve his country, learn a trade and develop new skills that led to Fairley’s decision to join the Navy.
This deployment will be AB Fairley’s first full rotation in the MEAO, though he did join Melbourne on the back of her 2012 deployment to the region.
Melbourne’s upcoming deployment with be the 56th rotation of an Australian warship to the MEAO since 1990. She will relieve HMAS Newcastle, which is currently on station in the region.