Lesmurdie local completes longest deployment

This article has photo gallery Published on LCDR Andrew Thorpe (author), LEUT Will Singer (author), ABIS Steven Thomson (photographer)

Topic(s): Operation MANITOU, HMAS Newcastle (F06), HMAS Arunta (F151), Drug interdiction, Counter-piracy, Counter-terrorism

Leading Seaman Electronics Technician Andrew Diamond aboard HMAS Arunta at sea. (photo: ABIS Steven Thomson)
Leading Seaman Electronics Technician Andrew Diamond aboard HMAS Arunta at sea.

A Perth hills local is one of the crew members recently returned to Australia after serving in HMAS Arunta in the Middle East as part of Operation MANITOU.

Fire Control Officer, Leading Seaman Electronics Technician Andrew Diamond was responsible for the operation and maintenance of a variety of electronic and associated systems ensuring operational capability throughout the ship.

The former Mazenod College student said that he takes a great deal of pride in his role aboard the Anzac class frigate.

“I enjoy the challenges and responsibility that my job brings,” Leading Seaman Diamond said.

“I have worked hard to get to where I am now and enjoyed being a part of this deployment,” he said.

The ship returned to her Western Australian home port on 23 July after nine months away on the counter narcotics and maritime security mission.

After graduating from school he was uncertain what he wanted to do with the rest of his life and ended up joining the Navy in 2009.

“I knew I wanted to try and make a difference, learn some technical skills and travel overseas,” he said.

“The Navy ticked all of those boxes, so I joined less than a year after I finished school.”

He was posted to Arunta in December 2013 and has been deployed several times to the South East and North East Asia regions.

The deployment was Leading Seaman Diamond’s longest time away from home since joining the Navy.

During his time onboard he was able to enjoy some of the fruits of Arunta’s Anti-Ship Missile Defence upgrade which improved her combat and fire control systems.

“It’s great to be responsible for operating these new capabilities and serving on one of the most capable ships in our Navy,” he said.

He said he was both excited and nervous about the deployment, but confident he could keep his shipmates safe from any threats.

“You hear about situations which have come up in the region, but it doesn’t quite hit you until you are sailing around the waters, and the uncertainty of what could come next,” he said.

“But I focused on my most important role aboard - keeping the ship and her crew safe.”

HMAS Newcastle has now relieved Arunta in the region as Australia’s contribution to the Combined Maritime Forces.