Able Seaman Boatswains Mate Matthew Parry arrived in Subic Bay in the Philippines today onboard HMAS Arunta which is conducting a port visit as part of the ship’s North East Asian deployment, of which the Philippines is just one of many stops.
The 19 year old has served with the Royal Australian Navy for two years. This is the first deployment overseas for the sailor, the first time he has been to the Philippines and in fact, the first time he has had the chance to visit his Mother in her home country.
Able Seaman Parry was born in Maida Vale in Perth, Western Australia; his Mother was born in the Philippines, in Angeles City, where she now owns a house and where she has been living for the past 15 months.
“Since my mother moved back to the Philippines, I’ve joined the Navy, travelled around Australia and am now currently on this North East Asian deployment on board Arunta,” said Able Seaman Parry.
“Travelling the world while I do my job is why I signed up for the Navy.
“The port visit to the Philippines will be a great opportunity to meet family I have never met and to see what the culture and the lifestyle is like for my Mother and her family,” he said.
HMA Ships Arunta and Sirius have both arrived in the Philippines, having just come from India, completing the inaugural AUSINDEX15, a bilateral maritime activity between Australia and India, during mid-September and undertaking passage exercises with the Singaporean Navy.
As part of this deployment Able Seaman Parry has also visited Kemaman in Malaysia where he managed to get a spot playing in a combined team of HMAS Arunta and Sirius in a game of soccer against the Malaysian Navy.
“I managed to score a goal; our team’s only goal unfortunately. We ended up losing the match 3-1. But it was a great experience and getting to interact with a foreign navy in a more social setting was a lot of fun,” Able Seaman Parry said.
“On a professional note, conducting exercises with other militaries is an eye opening experience and how we interact is so important - to get the task done as smoothly as we can,” said Able Seaman Parry.
While he is experiencing many firsts on this trip, this is not the first time Able Seaman Parry has been able to conduct exercises with other navies.
Last year he sailed with HMAS Arunta around Australia for his first deployment which included Exercise KAKADU 14, in Darwin, and this year, he was in Darwin once again to participate in Exercise TALISMAN SABRE 15.
The Australian ships will have a short port visit in Subic Bay before continuing their Asian deployments.