Metung local makes waves in Navy

Published on LEUT Gary McHugh (author), LSIS Yuri Ramsey (photographer)

HMAS Larrakia Commanding Officer (Attack Four) Lieutenant Commander David McPherson on the bridge wing of Larrakia as she departs the Philippines to return to Australia. (photo: LSIS Yuri Ramsey)
HMAS Larrakia Commanding Officer (Attack Four) Lieutenant Commander David McPherson on the bridge wing of Larrakia as she departs the Philippines to return to Australia.

At the tender age of 30, Metung local David McPherson has the distinction of being the youngest sea-going Commanding Officer in the Royal Australian Navy.
 
After attending Bairnsdale West Primary School and later Nagle College, Lieutenant Commander McPherson took the decision to join the Navy at the age of 17 years, and since then has spent a considerable amount of time at sea.

HMAS Larrakia Commanding Officer (Attack Four), Lieutenant Commander David McPherson, in front of the memorial to Australian Servicemen who lost their lives in the defence and liberation of the Philippines during the Second World War, in Palo, the Philippines.

HMAS Larrakia Commanding Officer (Attack Four), Lieutenant Commander David McPherson, in front of the memorial to Australian Servicemen who lost their lives in the defence and liberation of the Philippines during the Second World War, in Palo, the Philippines.


 
“I used to get out on the water a lot when I was younger, so I guess that’s where my passion for the sea really began,” he said.
 
During the course of his career, Lieutenant Commander McPherson, Commanding Officer of Attack Four (recently embarked in HMAS Larrakia for Exercise LUMBAS), has achieved many milestones including being the Navigator of HMAS Sydney when it circumnavigated the globe, and a stint as the Fleet Navigator.
 
During his career he has been involved in operations both within the Australian sovereignty and overseas.

He has undertaken a number of postings over the past 12 years, both ashore and at sea, and has visited several overseas ports including New York, London, Cochin and Hawaii.
 
Leaving the small town of Metung in Victoria, Lieutenant Commander McPherson relished the opportunity to join the military and believes it is a great career opportunity for anyone looking for a job that will take you around the world Lieutenant Commander McPherson, who now lives in Darwin with his wife Karen, said one of the things he looks forward to most when he returns home is the opportunity to rest and unwind.

Commodore Joel T Dela Cruz AFP, Commander Naval Forces Eastern Mindanao, chats to Commanding Officer Attack Four (HMAS Larrakia), Lieutenant Commander David McPherson, RAN, before the Exercise LUMBAS 14 closing ceremony.

Commodore Joel T Dela Cruz AFP, Commander Naval Forces Eastern Mindanao, chats to Commanding Officer Attack Four (HMAS Larrakia), Lieutenant Commander David McPherson, RAN, before the Exercise LUMBAS 14 closing ceremony.


“It doesn’t sound like a lot but the ability to sleep through the whole night without being woken by the Officer of the Watch reporting a contact is something I really look forward to,” he said.
 
HMAS Larrakia deployed for Exercise LUMBAS last year for six-weeks in South East Asia - visiting Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines.