Mariner relishes challenge of land-based deployment

Published on MAJ Bradley Richardson (author)

Topic(s): Operation MANITOU

Commander Jennifer Parker, RAN, deployed to Operation MANITOU and embedded with the International Maritime Security Construct in Bahrain. (photo: UNKNOWN)
Commander Jennifer Parker, RAN, deployed to Operation MANITOU and embedded with the International Maritime Security Construct in Bahrain.

Born and raised in the red dust and desert backdrop of Broken Hill, New South Wales, Navy Commander Jennifer Parker again finds herself on dry land - deployed ashore on Operation MANITOU in the Middle East.

Serving as a principal warfare officer specialising in anti-submarine warfare, Commander Parker, who has spent 18 years in the Navy, is managing maritime operations in the Sentinel Expeditionary Headquarters as part of the International Maritime Security Construct (IMSC).

Commander Parker said the deployment had been challenging and rewarding.

“The best part of working in a diverse coalition environment is getting to know my colleagues from a myriad of nations who speak a common language of the sea,” Commander Parker said.

“My role has spanned across a wide spectrum of activities, including designing the operational plan for IMSC, liaising with the maritime industry and executing focused maritime reassurance operations.”

This is the first land-based deployment for the mariner.

“It’s been a great experience to be a part of shaping maritime security in the Middle East, and most significantly being able to do my part to ensure that the seafarers who are so vital to global trade can return safely to their families,” Commander Parker said.

Always in search of a challenge, Commander Parker used her spare time at sea while on another deployment to complete her Bachelor of Law and was subsequently admitted to the ACT Supreme Court as a legal practitioner in 2016.

“I have sought to further my legal background undertaking a Masters of Law, focusing specifically on maritime security issues,” Commander Parker said.

“My study of maritime law has reaped rewards, proving useful in IMSC’s role of reinforcing the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.”