Top 'Gun Busters' on HMAS Toowoomba keep it clean and ready to fire

Published on LSIS James Whittle (author and photographer)

Able Seaman Electronics Technician (ABET) Gerard Reeves and ABET Rhys Clark conduct maintenance on the Mark 54, 5-inch gun on board HMAS Toowoomba. (photo: LSIS James Whittle)
Able Seaman Electronics Technician (ABET) Gerard Reeves and ABET Rhys Clark conduct maintenance on the Mark 54, 5-inch gun on board HMAS Toowoomba.

HMAS Toowoomba's Mark 54 five-inch gun maintainers or 'gun busters' are understandably proud of their role.
 
The maintenance involved in keeping this key weapon system fully functional and ready to defend the ship from incoming threats is usually heavy, greasy, and very hot work particularly when deployed in the Middle East Region with Joint Task Force 633 on Operation MANITOU.

Seaman Electronics Technician Jacob Williams conducts maintenance of the 5-inch gun on board HMAS Toowoomba.

Seaman Electronics Technician Jacob Williams conducts maintenance of the 5-inch gun on board HMAS Toowoomba.

Weapons Electrical Engineering Officer, Lieutenant Commander Edward Ellison, said he was proud of the efforts of his team who are always keen to apply themselves even when the average daily temperature exceeded 40 degrees Celsius.
 
“The gun busters don't shy away from this heavy and dirty work," he said.
 
"Instead they take an almost bizarre enjoyment from these difficult tasks relishing any opportunity to show-off the fire power of their beloved five-inch gun.”
 
"Toowoomba's 'gun busters' provide critical capability and technical assurance so that if the key five-inch gun is required to defend Toowoomba it is ready and operational to meet the requirements of the ship's mission.”

HMAS Toowoomba conducts a 5-inch Mark 54 firing during a week long Shake Down period.

HMAS Toowoomba conducts a 5-inch Mark 54 firing during a week long Shake Down period.


 
Toowoomba is providing maritime support to international efforts to counter and deter terrorism and the trade of narcotics on the seas as part of the Combined Maritime Force in the region.
 
The Combined Maritime Force works to defeat terrorism, prevent piracy, encourage regional engagement, reduce illegal trafficking of people and drugs and promote the maritime environment as a safe place for mariners with legitimate business.
 
HMAS Toowoomba is the 58th rotation of a Royal Australian Navy ship to the Middle East Region since 1990.