Hearty work from Tobruk’s chefs

Published on LEUT Ryan Zerbe (author), LAC David Cotton (photographer)

Topic(s): Exercise PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP, HMAS Tobruk (II)

Able Seaman Maritime Logistics - Chef Cameron Moore serves meals from inside the main galley in HMAS Tobruk (II). (photo: LAC David Cotton)
Able Seaman Maritime Logistics - Chef Cameron Moore serves meals from inside the main galley in HMAS Tobruk (II).

Feeding a ship’s company is no small task, but for the chefs of HMAS Tobruk (II) the job has become a lot bigger.

On top of the 180 members of Tobruk’s crew, the team are also feeding an additional 107 embarked personnel on their way to Papua New Guinea for PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP 2013.

Leading Seaman Maritime Logistics Chef Liam Ibbetson said the extra work was testing the team’s skills but that the job was getting done to a high standard.

“On any given day we have to prepare meals that meet dietary and nutritional needs of everyone on board and we’ll be keeping this pace up for the whole seven weeks we’re deployed,” he said.

“We have an extra five chefs on board for this deployment and some of our American guests have been helping out serving food in the embarked forces mess which helps us out a lot.”

“We’ve had a lot of good feedback from the embarked Americans and the Australian Army and Air Force members who have never been to sea and experienced Navy cooking.”

Yeoman Seaman Michelle Valento of the United States Navy looks forward to lunch in the embarked forces mess in HMAS Tobruk (II).

Yeoman Seaman Michelle Valento of the United States Navy looks forward to lunch in the embarked forces mess in HMAS Tobruk (II).

“It’s a good feeling and builds a happy atmosphere for our team.”

Navy chefs serve on board all fleet units and are trained in food preparation, nutrition and customer service.

PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP 2013 is an annual humanitarian and civic assistance mission aimed at strengthening international relationships with partner and host nations in the Asia-Pacific region.

While in Wewak and Vanimo personnel embarked in Tobruk will provide medical and engineering aid as well as run clinics and health fairs for locals, and update training for local medical practitioners.

An Australian Army’s engineering team will work with members of the United States Navy’s Amphibious Construction Battalion to conduct maintenance, repairs and refurbishment to schools, used by nearly 5000 children in Vanimo and Wewak.

Volunteers from HMAS Tobruk’s crew will also refurbish sports facilities and public buildings for the two remote townships which have a combined population of approximately 40,000 people.

Able Seaman Maritime Logistics Chef Chloe Jackson in the main galley of HMAS Tobruk (II).

Able Seaman Maritime Logistics Chef Chloe Jackson in the main galley of HMAS Tobruk (II).