A Steel Eel, two Kiwis and a couple of Dux

This article has photo gallery Published on LCDR Wayne McColl (author), LSIS Leo Baumgartner (photographer)

Topic(s): HMAS Parramatta (F154), South East Asia Deployment

Royal New Zealand Navy Officer Acting Sub Lieutenant Jordan Appleton on the bridge onboard HMAS Parramatta during her transit from Darwin, NT, to Phuket, Thailand. (photo: LSIS Leo Baumgartner)
Royal New Zealand Navy Officer Acting Sub Lieutenant Jordan Appleton on the bridge onboard HMAS Parramatta during her transit from Darwin, NT, to Phuket, Thailand.

The opportunity to deploy in HMAS Parramatta has been the experience of a lifetime for two officers of the Royal New Zealand Navy.

Sub Lieutenants Jordan Appleton and Francesca Hlavac have been posted to the Anzac Class frigate and have just returned from a three month deployment to South East Asia.

Sub Lieutenant Appleton completed the Junior Warfare Application Course as Dux in early 2019 and posted onto HMAS Parramatta as a consolidation posting while Sub Lieutenant Hlavac joined the ship in December last year on completion of the Royal Australian Navy’s Marine Engineering Application Course, of which she was also awarded Dux.

Sub Lieutenant Appleton said his exchange to Parramatta had been a great experience early in his career.

Parramatta has been an exciting and dynamic posting as an Officer of the Watch and I have had the opportunity to tick off some career highlights,” Sub Lieutenant Appleton said.

“Being able to drive the ship alongside other navies throughout Asia was an unbelievable experience.”

For Sub Lieutenant Hlavac, her time aboard the ‘Steel Eel’ was also her first chance to work as an officer at sea in a class of ship operated by both the Australian and New Zealand navies.

“HMAS Parramatta is my first sea-going posting, and this deployment has offered an excellent opportunity and context in which to progress my training as a junior Engineering Officer,” Sub Lieutenant Hlavac said.

“With both of the Royal New Zealand Navy’s Anzac Class frigates, Te Mana and Te Kaha, undergoing upgrades in Canada, this posting has enabled me to gain experience on the same class of ship, which will be of great benefit on return to New Zealand.”

“Through this posting I have been able to expand my technical support network and have made some great Aussie friends.”

With Parramatta’s deployment now complete, Sub Lieutenant Appleton will return to New Zealand to take up a sea-going posting while Sub Lieutenant Hlavac will remain posted to Parramatta until 2021.