Brother inspires Navy career

Published on LSIS Helen Frank (author and photographer)

Location(s): Hobart, TAS

Topic(s): HMAS Canberra (L02), Navy Gap Year

Leading Seaman Boatswains Mate Troy Bennett dressed in boarding party gear on board HMAS Canberra. (photo: LSIS Helen Frank)
Leading Seaman Boatswains Mate Troy Bennett dressed in boarding party gear on board HMAS Canberra.

Born in Devonport and raised in Hobart, Tassie boy, Leading Seaman Boatswains Mate Troy Bennett joined the Navy at 18 chasing fun, travel and adventure.

He finished school at Gilford Young College in 2007 and started his naval career the following year.

“My brother had joined the year before and told me good stories about the Navy,” he said.

Leading Seaman Bennett originally joined as a Gap Year participant signing on for only one year but when he got to Recruit School and made lots of good friends he decided to sign up for four years.

“A year isn't that long in the grand scheme of things so I decided I would become a Boatswains Mate and stick together with the guys I went through Recruit School with,” he said.

Seven years later and he still finds himself enjoying Navy life and has recently joined HMAS Canberra.

“I love the camaraderie of the Navy, the mateship, I've met a lot of nice people," he said.

“I also like the travel and seeing new places.”

Commissioned in November 2014, Canberra is the first of two new large-scale amphibious ships to be introduced into the Australian Navy. The ship has a crew of 400 and is capable of embarking over 1000 troops and their cargo that can be landed ashore by helicopters or state of the art landing craft.

“I deal with the small arms on board the ship and I’m also involved with the seamanship evolutions.

“I’m also a survival equipment maintainer, part of the boarding party and I keep watches on the bridge,” Leading Seaman Bennett said.

These 27,000 tonne ships are the largest vessels ever constructed for the Navy and are capable of providing the Australian Defence Force with one of the most sophisticated air-land-sea amphibious deployment systems in the world. The ship is capable of complex amphibious operations including non-combatant evacuations and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations.

Canberra is due to take part in Exercise RIM OF THE PACIFIC (RIMPAC) in June this year, which will be the ship's first international deployment.

Leading Seaman Bennett previously participated in RIMPAC in 2014 on board HMAS Success and is looking forward to being a part of the exercise again.

“I enjoyed RIMPAC on board Success, I'm not sure what it will be like on Canberra, I think we might be a lot busier,” he said.

“I’m interested to see the capability this ship brings to the Navy and because this is a new ship, it’s exciting to be a part of something new and different.”

Canberra has been exercising off the New South Wales coast working towards Final Operational Certification due in 2017.

The ship’s company took a short break in Hobart this week where Leading Seaman Bennett was due to catch up with his family.