Navy’s Fleet Support Unit has provided a quick and effective solution to a galley maintenance issue onboard Royal Navy ship HMS Sutherland.
After flexing in heavy weather, the galley deck in Sutherland sustained superficial damage, which rendered much of the area unsafe for food preparation. With the morale and nutritional requirements of British personnel at stake, Australian sailors from the Fleet Support Unit set about administering a swift but comprehensive repair.
Logistics Officer HMS Sutherland, Lieutenant Commander David Bell said that the damage posed a significant challenge.
“The galley deck was no longer satisfactory in a food preparation area and would have degraded further throughout the deployment.
“The situation had given me a few restless nights,” Lieutenant Commander Bell said.
Sutherland had five months left at sea on deployment and only several days alongside in Sydney when three sailors from the Fleet Support Unit-South East provided the capability to concrete, tile and grout the damaged area in less than 48 hours.
Regional Manager Fleet Support Unit-South East, Lieutenant Commander Mark McGuinness said the unit was happy to provide assistance.
“The task was well within our capacity and capability.
“Initially it was thought that a temporary repair could be carried out that would get Sutherland home.
“However, noting that five months of the deployment remained, this plan was quickly altered to constitute a comprehensive repair,” Lieutenant Commander McGuinness said.
Petty Officer Marine Technician Stewart Martin was part of the repair team and enjoyed working onboard the British ship.
“Being able to offer assistance to a close ally so that she can sail in the proper material state - especially when it’s related to food - is a good feeling,” he said.
Petty Officer Martin was joined by Marine Technicians Chief Petty Officer Nigel Butt and Able Seaman Kyle Harrison to conduct the repair.