From double-degree to ‘Defend the Flag’

Published on LEUT Will Singer (author), CPOIS Damian Pawlenko (photographer)

Location(s): Fleet Base West

Topic(s): HMAS Stirling, Fleet Base West, Defence Force Recruiting

Seaman Combat Systems Operator Trang Tang at Fleet Base West, Western Australia.  (photo: CPOIS Damian Pawlenko)
Seaman Combat Systems Operator Trang Tang at Fleet Base West, Western Australia.

Just months after joining the Navy, Seaman Combat Systems Operator Trang Tang has graduated from her basic course and is now a vital part of the maritime warfare team in HMAS Ballarat.

A graduate of a degree in Criminology and Psychological Sciences joined the Navy because she wanted a career that offered simultaneous purpose and travel throughout Australia and overseas.

“I am excited to apply the theory learnt during the Combat Systems Operator basic course and relate this to real-world exercises while gaining practical experience,” Seaman Tang said.

Considered the ‘eyes and ears’ of the Navy's surface fleet, Combat Systems Operators are required to control a tricky range of complex and challenging systems that communicate operational and administrative data within a task group or as part of a larger coalition task force.

Upon posting to a ship, they form part of what is called the ‘Action Information Organisation’ and are employed to give information related to warfare aspects on the surface, in the air, and under the water.

“In my specific role as a Surface Picture Supervisor I will be maintaining a picture compilation, assisting Command to make sound tactical decisions and ensuring awareness of all maritime surrounding for the long-range frigate,” Seaman Tang said.

“The role will be challenging as I will have to remain vigilant and constantly aware of all environmental and situational aspects.

“I am proud of what I have learnt and achieved during my Navy service.

“My goals are to further my sea experience and to test out different types of combat systems on various ships,” she said. 

The most consistent aspect of life in the Navy is the tremendous variety, combining challenging work opportunities with an active lifestyle. 

For more information about a career as a Combat Systems Operator visit the Defence jobs website.