South Australian homecoming for sailor

Published on LEUT Des Paroz (author), LSIS James Whittle (photographer)

Leading Seaman Combat Systems Operator Judy Schmidt in the Flight Control Office overlooking the flight deck of HMAS Adelaide.  (photo: LSIS James Whittle)
Leading Seaman Combat Systems Operator Judy Schmidt in the Flight Control Office overlooking the flight deck of HMAS Adelaide.

When HMAS Adelaide made her first visit to her namesake city, Leading Seaman Judy Schmidt was excited to show off her new home to fellow South Australians.
 
Having grown up on a farm near Mannum in the Murray Valley, life onboard one of Australia’s largest warships is vastly different to that she knew as a child.
 
“With a crew of 400, and up to 1,000 embarked forces, the ship has a population almost half of Mannum, but of course people are living much closer together than in a semi-rural community," she said.
 
Adelaide is the largest ship the Navy has ever operated, and so even though there are a lot of people, you can go days at a time without seeing some of your shipmates.
 
“As a watch-keeper, this can be even more pronounced,” Leading Seaman Schmidt said.
 
Leading Seaman Schmidt is a Combat Systems Operator, focussing in air warfare, and one of the ship’s Anti-Submarine Aircraft Controllers, responsible for controlling aircraft operating within a certain range of the ship.
 
“I previously served on Anzac class frigates, and the job was complex enough when only one aircraft would be operating from the ship.
 
“In a Landing Helicopter Dock amphibious assault ship like Adelaide, we can have six aircraft operating on the flight deck simultaneously, with up to 18 being able to operate from the ship, and this makes the job more challenging.
 
“Of course, the role is different from frigates in many ways, especially for a Combat Systems Operator,” Leading Seaman Schmidt said.
 
Adelaide
 visited her namesake city for the first time in late June, and Leading Seaman Schmidt had the opportunity to show off her ship to the people of Adelaide.
 
“We exercised Freedom of Entry through Adelaide on Friday, followed by hosting an open day on the ship on Sunday," she said.
 
Adelaide is a magnificent ship and felt very welcomed by the people of Adelaide.
 
“We look forward to visiting Adelaide again – a city whose name we are proud to bear.”