Navy’s most recent operational deployment to the Middle East Region was a rewarding experience for a junior sailor onboard HMAS Warramunga.
Able Seaman Communication and Information Systems (CIS) Jake Collett worked in the construction industry as a carpenter for three years before taking the leap and undertaking initial and specialist training at the ‘Cradle of the Navy’ HMAS Cerberus, in Victoria. Now as a CIS sailor, he disseminates information internally and externally to the ship using strategic and tactical communications systems.
“Joining Navy was something I had wanted to pursue since I was in high school and I felt it was the right time to begin this career path,” he said.
“The training I received at Cerberus gave me the skills required to perform my role as a communications specialist onboard a major fleet unit such as HMAS Warramunga.”
Able Seaman Collett said his role on operations included maintaining communications with the boarding teams on the Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats (RHIB) during drug search and seizure operations, and when not performing that duty he was a RHIB bowman.
He previously deployed to Operation RESOLUTE, which is the Australian Defence Force contribution to protect Australia's borders and offshore maritime interests.
“In 2016 I was involved in Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC), the world's largest international maritime warfare exercise in Hawaii, Exercise KAKADU off the coast of Darwin and Exercise BERSAMA SHIELD held in the waters near Singapore,” he said.
“It’s been a busy, but rewarding posting, with a number of international exercises at the beginning, working up to an operation and finishing a successful deployment.
Australian Navy personnel have been on operations in the Middle East almost constantly in the past three decades, and with the return of Anzac frigate HMAS Warramunga from her most recent deployment, it signals the completion of the 66th rotation of a Royal Australian Navy unit to the region since 1990.
The ship deployed in November 2017, and since then has seized and destroyed narcotics from 16 vessels totalling approximately 31.8 tonnes of hashish and approximately two tonnes of heroin, valued in excess of AUD $2.17 billion.