This year, instead of sailing on Thunder Bird - his grandfather’s Hock Dufall boat - on Christmas Day, Daniel Skipworth will be conducting maritime patrols onboard an Armidale Class Patrol Boat in Australia's northern waters.
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.
Midshipman (MIDN) Daniel Skipworth chose to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps and joined the Navy in 2012. A proud moment for MIDN Skipworth was when his grandfather witnessed him passing out from the New Entry Officers’ Course (NEOC) as HMAS Creswell.
“My grandfather moved up the ranks as a sailor, he was proud of me joining the Navy, I think he would have liked me to join as a junior sailor first, but I really wanted to drive a boat around the ocean,” MIDN Skipworth said.
Christmas is a family gathering in the Skipworth household of Parkwood in Perth. Daniel will be missing the get together, but he will be conducting an important operation, conducting border security patrols of Australia's maritime approaches.
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.
“It is an important role that the Patrol Boats do up in the North of Australia every day of the year,” the junior Naval officer proudly said.
“I am completing my Maritime Warfare Officer (MWO) training onboard during Christmas.”
MIDN Skipworth is a member of the Attack Four crew, currently embarked in HMAS Armidale.
It has been a busy year for Daniel conducting practical and theory training in his core role as an MWO and taking part in the International Fleet Review in Sydney.
“The work tempo has been high but very productive for my career. I enjoy being out at sea putting the theory into practice,” MIDN Skipworth said.
Midshipman Daniel Skipworth is looking forward to catching up with his girlfriend, Tess in the New Year and spending some time together in what he describes as his amazing hometown, Perth.