Two Tassie lads will be away from home this Christmas as they both conduct patrols onboard an Armidale Class Patrol Boat within Australia’s northern waters.
Sailors Joshua Eyles and Jamie Cooper are members of the Attack FOUR crew currently embarked in HMAS Armidale.
Approximately 500 Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel are deployed this Christmas on Operation RESOLUTE, the ADF’s contribution to Australia’s whole of government border security effort.
Although they are both from Launceston, and each joined the Navy only one month apart, Joshua and Jamie had not met prior to joining the Attack FOUR crew based out of Darwin.
“It was great to have another Tasmanian onboard, we both struggle with the weather in Darwin, it is so different from home,” Seaman (SMN) Eyles said.
Both SMN Eyles and SMN Cooper would normally enjoy Christmas with their respective family and enjoy a delicious home cooked meal.
This year they will be both onboard HMAS Armidale enjoying Christmas with their Navy family keeping a watchful eye on the task at hand as they conduct security for Australia's maritime approaches.
“This will be my first Christmas away from home, it is good that we will be busy and the boat has some activities planned during the holiday period at sea,” SMN Cooper said.
The patrol boats and their crew of 21 provide surveillance and response to counter eight distinct maritime threats including; terrorism, people smuggling, illegal fishing, prohibited imports and exports, quarantine risks, pollution, piracy and other illegal activities.
SMN Eyles is a Marine Technician onboard while his Tasmanian counterpart SMN Cooper is an Electronics Technician.
“The training I conducted for my core role onboard as a Marine Technician was very challenging,” said SMN Eyles.
Joshua and Jamie joined the Navy for a challenge and travel. Since joining they have seen various Navy bases around Australia and are hoping their patrol boat will get some overseas port visits next year.
Both Launceston locals are glad to be at sea putting their newly learnt skills into practice.