Experienced hand brought in for Sirius deployment

Published on LEUT Christopher Harvey (author), LSIS Bradley Darvill (photographer)

Topic(s): HMAS Sirius (A266), Exercise BERSAMA LIMA

On the bridge of HMAS Sirius, Navigator LCDR Peter Russell and Executive Officer CMDR Phill Henry discuss the upcoming deployment. (photo: LSIS Brad Darvill)
On the bridge of HMAS Sirius, Navigator LCDR Peter Russell and Executive Officer CMDR Phill Henry discuss the upcoming deployment.

An experienced pair of hands guides the way to help HMAS Sirius prepare for a relatively short notice deployment to Asia.

The battle tanker, which has recently completed a short period of programmed maintenance, had her program changed to support the Australian Defence Force contribution to Exercise BERSAMA LIMA 2013.

Luckily the Executive Officer, Commander Phillip Henry, who was posted in for a 5 month Operation RELIEF, was a pair of experienced hands for planning.

This is the fourth time Commander Henry has been posted to a Major Fleet Unit as an Executive Officer (XO), having previously served as XO of HMA Ships Adelaide, Melbourne and a brief Operation RELIEF period on Tobruk.

Commander Henry says the ship has been put through its paces preparing for the deployment.

Sirius has worked hard and is now ready to deploy to South East Asia. I’ve been impressed with how the ship’s company have quickly pulled together to meet the Sea Training Group requirements and prepare the ship,” said Commander Henry.

“The ship’s company are looking forward to the trip, which will see her make a port visit to Singapore, before starting Exercise BERSAMA LIMA.

“We have a large number of personnel onboard who have never been to Asia, who are really looking forward to the deployment and representing Australia and the Royal Australian Navy at the exercise,” said Commander Henry.

Sirius will return to her homeport of Fleet Base West in mid December 2013. On completion of his Operation RELIEF posting, Commander Henry will head to Bahrain in January 2014 and start a six month embed with the United States Navy (USN).