Travel is all in a day's work for Leading Seaman

Published on LEUT Nick Manning (author), LSIS Bradley Darvill (photographer)

Topic(s): HMAS Sirius (A266), South East Asia Deployment

Leading Seaman Marine Technician James Braid is the high power maintainer on board fleet replenishment ship HMAS Sirius.  (photo: LSIS Bradley Darvill)
Leading Seaman Marine Technician James Braid is the high power maintainer on board fleet replenishment ship HMAS Sirius.

Leading Seaman Marine Technician James Braid says he joined the Navy to see the world.

The 28 year old from Cootamundra, New South Wales, is well on his way to his goal.

In the six years since he joined the Navy, he has helped patrol Australia’s borders, participated in training exercises in Hawaii, and is now deployed in South East Asia with HMAS Sirius.

Leading Seaman Braid said it was a significant change from his country town upbringing.

“There is only one paper - the Cootamundra Herald; my parents still live there," he said.

“I was part of the Cootamundra Army Cadets (256RCU) for five years, and the NSW Fire Brigade (Station 266) for three years,” he said.

Since enlisting, Leading Seaman Braid has decided to specialise in refrigeration and electrical systems.

“I currently hold a Maritime Systems Controller (MSC) qualification," he said.

"This makes me responsible for all operations and personnel in the engine room when I am on watch.”

The job involves ensuring engineering plant and machinery remain operational.

“I need to make machinery safe if any incidents occur, conduct rounds on running machinery and inform the bridge when we have limitations,” he said.

It’s a busy job, but one that has seen him obtain a Diploma of Mechanical Engineering while he travelled.

“I joined in Canberra in 2009, to see the world and try something new,” he said.

“In the future, I would like to attain commissioned rank and become a Marine Engineering Officer.”

Sirius is a replenishment ship that supports the rest of the Royal Australian Navy fleet by providing fuel, stores and ammunition.

The ship has recently spent a week alongside in Singapore for some routine maintenance and then proceeded to Da Nang, Vietnam. Her motto is to Serve and Provide.