Aussie cricketers had a small taste of life in the Royal Australian Navy on when they visited HMAS Toowoomba in Dubai on 1 October.
The Australian cricket team was in town for Twenty20 and One Day International matches against Pakistan and was invited to join Toowoomba's ship's company in the United Arab Emirates port, as they enjoyed some respite during her six month deployment to the Middle East under Operation MANITOU.
Commanding Officer of HMAS Toowoomba, Commander Catherine Hayes, welcomed the team onboard with an Aussie-themed cocktail function and traditional Navy ceremonial sunset. Other distinguished guests included the Australian Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, His Excellency Mr Pablo Kang, and Commander Joint Task Force 633, Major General Craig Orme.
Commander Hayes said that the Australian cricketers and Toowoomba shared many similarities.
"We're both teams who train very hard at what we do and prepare thoroughly to represent our country at home and on the international stage.
“We want to make Australia proud and showcase what we can do as individuals and as a team to the best of our abilities," she said.
While on board, the team were given a tour of the ship so they could see first-hand how sailors lived and worked onboard an Anzac Class frigate.
The Australian team coach Darren Lehmann said it was a great chance to see the daily work routines undertaken by Toowoomba’s 200 strong crew.
"Obviously we don't know the ins and outs of a warship but all the cricketers appreciated seeing how everything works together and just how many Australian personnel are on board."
Commander Hayes said the crew also enjoyed mingling with the cricketers taking many ‘selfies’ and requesting autographs included signed cricket gear.
"When we're at sea on operations it's rather difficult to show people what goes on aboard an Australian Navy ship," she said.
"So when they get the opportunity, the crew enjoy giving a tour of the ship and showing what they do on a day-to-day basis.
"And they certainly loved doing that with the Australian cricket team."
Operation MANITOU is the Australian Defence Force contribution to the international campaign against terrorism, counter smuggling and counter piracy in the Middle East maritime security environment, an area of over two million square miles, encompassing the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Arabian Gulf, Arabian Sea, Northern Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Oman.
Imagery is available on the Navy Image Library at http://images.navy.gov.au/S20142964.