Securing Middle Eastern waters

Published on CPL Sebastian Beurich (author), ABIS Nicolas Gonzalez (photographer)

Topic(s): Operation MANITOU, HMAS Newcastle (F06)

Leading Seaman Naval Police Coxswain Leticia Hosking is seen onboard HMAS Newcastle in the Middle East region.  (photo: ABIS Nicolas Gonzalez)
Leading Seaman Naval Police Coxswain Leticia Hosking is seen onboard HMAS Newcastle in the Middle East region.

Leading Seaman Naval Police Coxswain Leticia Hosking has swapped a rowboat for much larger watercraft, serving overseas with the Royal Australian Navy.

Leading Seaman Hosking is in HMAS Newcastle, which has recently been deployed to the Middle East region, contributing to the international effort to promote maritime security, stability and prosperity.

Day-to-day, Leading Seaman Hosking is responsible for a wide range of duties aboard the ship.

“As one of two ship’s Naval Police Coxswains, I’m responsible for maintaining good order and discipline aboard,” she said.

“I do minor, and complex, investigations into a wide range of administrative and disciplinary matters, as well as random drug and alcohol testing to uphold workplace safety standards.

Her duties also include a range of ship-handling skills, including steering the 4267-tonne warship.

“On the bridge, as the Quartermaster, I run the administration of the bridge, and in my role as the Helmsman for all special evolutions, I steer the ship into and out of harbour,” she said.

“A big part of my job is making sure the crew sticks to the daily program and ensuring all of the ship’s company move to their assigned  stations during specific evolutions.”

While she started her career in the Navy as a cook, she always had an interest in law enforcement.

“I’m really proud to serve my country and personally contribute to law enforcement on a global scale,” she said. 

“It’s a huge privilege to be part of something which helps improve security and reduce the illegal narcotics and weapons trade, which is vital to prevent the funding of extremists and terrorism.”

When she returns from her deployment later in the year, Leading Seaman Hosking said she is looking forward to catching up with her family, particularly her daughter Isabella, who saw her off when Newcastle sailed for the Middle East.

“I miss having family dinners and spending time with my friends and family,” she said.

“When I get home, I’m looking forward to meeting my new nephew and having Christmas at home in Brisbane.”

Newcastle’s deployment marked the 65th rotation of a Navy vessel to the region since 1990. The ship returns to her home port at Fleet Base East, Sydney in December.