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October 29, 2009
By Michael Brooke
SAILORS from HMAS Parramatta
(CMDR Jonathan Sadleir) and
HMAS Kuttabul (CMDR Christine
Clarke) have played an important
role to help 40 Year 11 students
navigate their way toward stimulat-
ing and rewarding technical trade
careers in the RAN.
The Year 11 students recently
visited Garden Island as part of the
2009 Defence Technical Scholarship
(DTS) tour to experience the trade
qualifications and lifestyle on offer
in the Navy.
The students visited HMAS
Parramatta, the Combat Systems
Maintenance School (CSMS), the
RAN Heritage Centre and a Thales
workshop to talk to young Navy
apprentices about career opportuni-
ties and rewards.
Parramatta is currently assigned
as the at-sea training ship for Plan
Train, implementing an intensive
ship-based program for the develop-
ment of Marine Technician opera-
tor qualifications and competency
log progression for other critical
A WELCOME home parade to mark
the end of Operation Catalyst will take
place in Canberra on November 21 at
the Australian War Memorial.
The parade will also recognise the
contribution of ADF and Defence per-
sonnel to the stabilisation and rehabilita-
tion of Iraq.
More than 300 current and former
ADF veterans and Defence civilians who
have served on Operation Catalyst will
take part in the parade.
The parade will feature Australia's
Federation Guard, the Band of the Royal
Military College of Australia and the
Royal Australian Navy Band, marching
from Anzac Parade onto the Memorial's
A fly past and a number of stat-
ic displays of equipment used during
Op Catalyst are planned to include a
Seahawk, a RHIB, a Bushmaster, an
ASLAV and EOD dogs.
Following the parade, participants
and their families will be invited to an
afternoon tea hosted by the Memorial.
Operation Catalyst was the ADF's
contribution to the US-led Multinational
Force effort to develop a secure and
stable environment in Iraq and to assist
national recovery programs.
Australian forces first deployed to
Iraq in 2003. Servicemen and women
from all three Services were deployed
in a range of combat and combat sup-
port roles. This role then developed into
a security and training role to enable the
people of Iraq to take responsibility for
their own security.
Defence formally ended its military
commitment to the rehabilitation of Iraq
on July 31 this year.
More than 20,000 ADF personnel saw
service in Iraq between 2003 -- 2009.
Anyone planning to attend the parade as a
spectator can register their interest in attend-
ing via email to defence.parade@defence.
The visit to the CSMS saw staff
members give detailed explanations
of the type of equipment that Navy
technicians train on, such as the gas
turbine maintenance training station,
the guided missile launcher system
lab, the close-in weapon system
mount and the propulsion control
OIC CSMS, LCDR Rod Cooper,
said the tour of the CSMS opened
the eyes of the school leavers to a
whole new world of opportunity and
After a look at a Thales work-
shop, the students toured the RAN
Heritage Centre where they gained
a new appreciation of the chapters
written in the legend of Anzac by
Defence Personnel, Materiel
and Science Minister Greg Combet
praised the DTS experience.
The Minister said Australia was
experiencing a shortage of skilled
technical tradespeople across
all areas of industry and this was
impacting on meeting recruitment
targets for the ADF.
"The DTS is part of the
Government's $71 million program
to assist in attracting and recruit-
ing more people to critical technical
trade careers in the ADF," he said.
DTS recipients are under no obli-
gation to join the ADF on comple-
tion of their scholarship year, how-
ever, applicants must demonstrate a
genuine interest in an ADF technical
trade career pathway as part of the
Catalyst veterans to be
remembered at parade
VETS HONOURED: LEUT Raymond McErlean observes the area over
the Persian Gulf in one of HMAS Parramatta's embarked Seahawks while
deployed to the MEAO last year on Operation Catalyst.
Photo: CPL Mick Davis
OPPORTUNITIES: ABMT Simon
Thomas explains the role of
HMAS Parramatta's machinery
control room to visiting Year 11
students who went aboard to
learn about technical trades and
training available in the Navy.
Photo: ABIS Peter Thompson
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