Sea-riders enjoy a Darwin experience

This article has photo gallery Published on LCDR Jason O'Gorman (author), ABEW Jackson Ricketts (photographer)

Location(s): Dili

Topic(s): HMAS Darwin (F04), Indo-Pacific Endeavour

Sub Lieutenant Teiah McKee shows Subtenente Bendito Gaspar (F-FDTL) around the bridge onboard HMAS Darwin.  (photo: ABEW Jackson Ricketts)
Sub Lieutenant Teiah McKee shows Subtenente Bendito Gaspar (F-FDTL) around the bridge onboard HMAS Darwin.
Two officers from the Forças de Defesa de Timor Leste, or the Timor Leste Defence Force, were welcomed onboard HMAS Darwin as she sailed from Sydney to Dili, Timor Leste.
Sub Lieutenant Bendito Gaspar and Lieutenant Rojito Coelho spent two weeks becoming familiarised with Darwin, her crew, and the many activities that take place onboard a major Australian warship.
Shortly after embarking, the Timorese officers were taken through Darwin’s routine safety briefings and ship familiarisation tours.
The following days and weeks saw them spending more time with each department to gain a more detailed awareness of their inner workings.
They were able to observe a number of different seamanship evolutions including day and night replenishments with HMAS Sirius and flying operations involving vertical replenishment and passenger transfers with helicopters.
Lieutenant Coelho said he gained valuable experience from his time onboard a major vessel.
"It is paramount for me because during those two weeks I have gained a lot of knowledge from different departments, such as damage control, marine technician, weapons electrical and bridge watch-keeping,” he said.
Sub Lieutenant Gaspar said the life lessons learnt onboard a large vessel was something he could use on his nation’s patrol boats.
"I am excited to be onboard a large warship like Darwin because I can learn more about a ship's organisation and cultures that are implemented throughout the ship,” he said.
Darwin arrived in Dili where the crew spent their time on a number of activities engaging with the local community and Timor Leste Defence Force.