Adelaide local, Able Seaman Boatswains Mate Anthony Worso, was centre stage as he proudly led his ship, holding the ceremonial life-ring. Able Seaman Worso was part of the HMAS Melbourne ship's company that deployed to Operation SLIPPER in August 2013 for a six month rotation.
“To march the streets of my home town in front of friends and family as an operational veteran was a real honour," he said.
Growing up in the Adelaide suburb of Aberfoyle Park and attending Aberfoyle Park High School, he enlisted in the Navy in 2010 and has already spent a good portion of his career overseas. In addition to the period he spent deployed in the Middle East, he has been involved in other deployments as part of Operations AMULET and RESOLUTE and visited Japan and Hawaii.
Able Seaman Worso said one of the most rewarding parts was working alongside military personnel from different nations.
“Being able to fight against the smuggling of drugs into Africa gave me a real sense of accomplishment.
"It was gratifying knowing that our contribution restricted the purchase of weapons to be possibly used against our allies or civilians.”
During Operation SLIPPER Able Seaman Worso's role was the Navigator’s Yeoman and as a member of the ship's boarding team. The latter role involved him conducting searches of ships suspect of smuggling drugs and weapons.
For the last five months he has been a vital member HMAS Melbourne’s team during an intensive training phase. Commanding Officer Commander Bill Waters said the port visit to Adelaide was a well deserved break for the crew who have worked tirelessly and achieved much since Christmas.
“Leading the parade was a fitting way to end a very challenging and successful period for the entire ship's company but it also had greater significance as we were the only Navy contingent in this otherwise Air Force and Army dominated city."
HMAS Melbourne deployed to Operation SLIPPER on two occasions (2010 and 2013) and the Royal Australian Navy has maintained a constant maritime presence since 2001, when the operation started.