North Rocky local's busy year on operations

Published on LEUT Andrew Ragless (author)

Topic(s): Operation SLIPPER, HMAS Melbourne (F05)

Able Seaman Cryptological Sailor Martin Carroll on the Gun Direction Platform of HMAS Melbourne during a boarding operation in the Arabian Sea. (photo: ABIS Jayson Tufrey)
Able Seaman Cryptological Sailor Martin Carroll on the Gun Direction Platform of HMAS Melbourne during a boarding operation in the Arabian Sea.

It was a busy year in 2013 for 31-year-old Rockhampton product Martin Carroll and the pace is not slowing down.

A Cryptologic Technician in the Royal Australian Navy, Martin has spent the entire last year serving in domestic and overseas operations including Christmas Island, South East Asia, and now the Arabian Sea in the Middle East.

It’s a lot of time on the water for a lover of fishing, camping, four-wheel driving and the great outdoors but the North Rockhampton local said he would not want it any other way.

A graduate of Emmaus College, Martin joined the Navy at the ripe age of 27. He spent his early 20s performing a broad range of labouring work before deciding the Navy would offer a stable career.

A lover of four-wheel driving and fishing, Martin can’t wait to get back to Byfield and Curtis Island with his nephews Tim and Christian and taking advantage of their off road expertise.

“My dad, Pat and my brothers Tim and Joe are also all over the fishing and boating so hopefully we can all get a day or two off to catch up and go for a fish when I return,” he said.

Martin began 2013 serving in HMAS Parramatta and took part in the ship’s South East Asian deployment, fortunate enough to visit ports in Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia. As part of the ship’s company in Parramatta, he also took part in Operation RESOLUTE, the ADF contribution to Australia’s whole of government maritime border security effort.

Currently, Martin is embarked in guided missile frigate HMAS Melbourne, deployed to the Middle East as part of Operation SLIPPER, the Australian Defence Force contribution to the international campaign against terrorism.

Martin flew from the remote north west Australian territory of Christmas Island to join HMAS Melbourne in Sydney, before the warship left Australian shores in August and commenced maritime security operations in the Arabian Sea and the waters around the Horn of Africa on 24 September 2013.

As a Cryptologic Technician, Martin’s job is to monitor the ship’s high tech sensors and provide indications and warnings of potential threats to the command team.

As a key member of the Ship’s Operation’s room, Martin was involved in HMAS Melbourne’s successful interdiction of nine suspected pirates off the coast of Somalia on the 15 October 2013. He said the pirate interdiction was a highlight of a very busy year.

“It was a very satisfying feeling to be involved in a real time mission.

“We train hard for events such as these but it’s not often the case that we need to put our training into practice.”

He also said a big highlight has been the opportunity to visit unique and exciting places as part of the ship’s port visits.

“I had never been overseas before joining the Navy and now I've been to seven different countries in just one year, and had the chance to experience different lifestyles and customs.

“These experiences have really opened my eyes and made me appreciate how comfortable life is in Australia and what an awesome country and natural wilderness we have.”

Martin said although he will miss his family and especially his daughter Seayana at Christmas time, he had an important job to do.