Devonport local, Jackson Cosgrove is spending his first year away from home this Christmas, deployed at sea with his Navy family on border protection operations.
Joining the Navy at the beginning of the year, Seaman Jackson Cosgrove’s year has been action packed.
Seaman Cosgrove completed his training as a Combat Systems Operator, participated in the International Fleet Review and played AFL for the Navy before joining the crew of an Armidale Class Patrol Boat.
Up to seven of the Royal Australian Navy’s Armidale Class Patrol Boats operating from Darwin and Cairns are deployed at sea at anyone time, conducting maritime border security operations in Australia’s northern waters.
At 18 years of age, Seaman Jackson Cosgrove can't believe how much he has achieved in a year.
“I have had a challenging but rewarding year, taking opportunities as they present themselves,” Seaman Cosgrove said.
Completing Year 11 at Ulverstone High School last year, Jackson was seeking a challenging and stable career that gave him a chance to travel. With all this and more on offer his sights were set on joining the Royal Australian Navy.
“My family have been very supportive of me joining the Defence Force and after hearing about my amazing year my younger brother Ben is now looking at joining,” he said.
Jackson had to complete a six-week intensive course to be selected for operations in Northern Australia for five months. The course included boat and boarding party drills, a military self defence course and equipment familiarisation.
“By completing the Transit Security Element course I have gained skills I wouldn't normally achieve in my day to day job,” Seaman Cosgrove said.
Normally in the Cosgrove household at Christmas time they would get together and enjoy the holiday season as a family but this year Jackson will be busy at sea patrolling 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.
He won’t be alone spending Christmas away from home, as Jackson is one of approximately 500 ADF personnel participating in Operation RESOLUTE, the ADF’s contribution to Australia’s whole of government border security effort.
“It is a unique experience for me, being at sea on a patrol boat for Christmas, I just hope Santa can find me out here,” Jackson laughed.
Jackson is looking forward to catching up with his Dad, Matthew and the rest of his family and friends in the New Year with hopes to enjoy a James Boags at the Ulverstone Footy Club, now he is old enough to drink.