Since joining the Navy as a keen 17-year-old in 1979 Warrant Officer Maritime Logistics - Supply Chain Lester ‘Wacka’ Payne has enjoyed a long and dynamic career.
With the first 27 years of his service being in the Permanent Navy, Warrant Officer Payne had a variety of postings which included shore postings in HMA Ships Cerberus, Albatross, Coonawarra, Stirling, Kuttabul and Creswell.
Naturally, sea postings also featured heavily in his career with postings to HMA Ships Stalwart, Success, Hobart and Kanimbla.
Warrant Officer Payne finished off his full time naval career spending two-and-half years as the Fleet Warrant Officer (Stores Naval) in Sea Training Group.
Not being able to get the Navy out of his system, Warrant Officer Payne transferred to the Reserves and has been actively involved in Submarine Logistic Support for 14 years, with the last 13 years serving within the Submarine Force organisation at the Fleet Logistic Support Element - Submarines (FLSE SUBS).
Warrant Officer Payne said the most satisfying aspect of his role was watching the development and career progression of Military Logistic personnel.
“It’s a proud moment when you see junior logisticians evolve to a level where they acquire and display the necessary skills to support the country’s submarines, which are widely acknowledged as Australia’s primary military strategic asset,” he said.
Having reached the 40-year service milestone on 25 July, and qualifying for the Defence Long Service Medal with Federation Star, the next milestone for Warrant Officer Payne will be transitioning to retirement in Tasmania.
Once retired, Warrant Officer Payne said he looks forward to enjoying some golf and fishing with his wife, and watching their grandchildren grow up.