Sub Lieutenant James Bagnato, is a Maritime Warfare Officer onboard HMAS Sirius which recently participated in the bilateral maritime exercise between Australia and India, AUSINDEX15.
Three Royal Australian Navy vessels and a Royal Australian Air Force AP-3C made the passage to India for the inaugural biennial exercise. HMA Ships Sirius and Arunta and submarine, HMAS Sheean, trained with Indian Navy Ships Shivalik, Ranvijay and Shakti, along with P-8I Maritime Patrol Aircraft during the week-long activity.
Hailing from Bairnsdale, in Victoria, he is an Officer of the Watch in Sirius, which is a responsibility that ensures the safe conduct of the ship at sea and he had many opportunities to practice his role together with the other ships, both Australian and Indian, during the sea phase serials of the exercise.
The exercise commenced with a harbour phase involving briefings and practical demonstrations ashore. At sea, surface and anti-submarine warfare exercises were conducted and there was also the opportunity for aviation cross deck operations.
“I had been looking forward to working with a foreign navy and it’s people,” he said.
“So this was a great opportunity for me as my job is challenging at times, but at the same time, extremely rewarding - I was absolutely up for the challenges of AUSINDEX15.”
This is not the first time he has been to India, this time sailing in a more substantial vessel.
“I previously had the opportunity to sail in India for the Indian Navy Admiral's Cup, and it was great to be back here for AUSINDEX15,” he said.
Sub Lieutenant Bagnato has travelled to New Caledonia and New Zealand for amphibious exercises with the now decommissioned HMAS Tobruk, and has also deployed on Operation RESOLUTE.
Sirius, is undertaking a North East Asian deployment, for which AUSINDEX15 was the first activity.
“I joined the Royal Australian Navy for adventure and to see the world.
“I love the travel, the challenges and the great people I work with,” Sub Lieutenant Bagnato said.
“My next goal is to broaden my skills and qualifications as a ship's diver and demolition supervisor, by specialising within the Maritime Warfare Officer Branch as a Maritime Clearance Diving Officer,” he said.
“Other than that, after this deployment, I will look forward to relaxing, fishing, spending time with my partner and my dog, and enjoying the Western Australian sunshine when Sirius arrives back home in Perth.”