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November 12, 2009
By Michael Brooke
THE desire to conquer new chal-
lenges has paid dividends for HMAS
Newcastle's LSET Nathan Cook who has
been crowned dux of the FFG Central
Control Station (CCS) Maintenance
In a clear lower deck on October 27,
COMTRAIN CDRE Daryl Bates present-
ed LSET Cook with the Roman Warcaba
Award, which is presented annually to the
FFG CCS trainee achieving the highest
LSET Cook, who wants to serve as a
MEO in a Canberra class LHD or Hobart
class AWD, achieved a score of 90.58 with-
out a failure during the 17-week course.
For his hard work and commitment to
study, LSET Cook was presented with the
Roman Warcaba Perpetual Shield and a
prize of technical books worth $300.
"I am deeply honoured to win this
award, which honours the memory and
values of the late WOET Roman Warcaba,"
LSET Cook said the most challenging
aspect of the course, which covers fault
isolation and rectification as well as system
and component alignment, was "learning
so much in such a short time span".
"The CSMS instructors deserve all the
credit because they really went out of their
way to help me when I struggled," he said.
CDRE Bates said LSET Cook qualified
as a MST/MST FFG last December and
is currently studying toward an electrical
engineering degree in his own time.
THE ADF has completed the lat-
est in a series of ongoing opera-
tions, successfully ridding Solomon
Islands of unexploded ordnance left
in the wake of some of the bloodiest
battles of WWII.
Operation Render Safe, which fin-
ished on October 24, saw HMA Ships
Gascoyne and Yarra sail to Solomon
Islands to dispose of explosives that
accumulated in the waters off the
South Pacific nation over the period
of battle and occupation by Japanese
and Allied forces.
Using data from a previous survey
performed by HMAS Melville, both
ships and their crews worked in the
waters off the island of Malaita and
Shortland Harbour, pinpointing 15
explosive objects on the bottom using
both vessels' extensive state-of-the-
art mine detection systems.
A clearance dive team was then
able to locate and dispose of the ord-
nance, which ranged in size from
artillery shells through to a large
British Mark IV Sea Mine.
Chief of Joint Operations LTGEN
Mark Evans said that, although the
ADF had been involved with explo-
sive ordnance disposal previously in
the South Pacific, Operation Render
Safe was the first enduring operation
of its type.
"The ADF's previous involve-
ment with the removal of unexplod-
ed ordinance was on a case-by-case
basis, such as operations conducted
in the Marshall and Kiribati islands,"
LTGEN Evans said.
"The success of these previous
Solomons rendered safe
operations and requests to help clear
unexploded ordnance led to the crea-
tion of Operation Render Safe -- an
enduring assistance operation pro-
viding explosive ordnance disposal
support to South Pacific nations."
LTGEN Evans said Operation
Render Safe, like Pacific Partnership
Operations Anode and Astute, was
indicative of the support offered by
the ADF to Australia's South Pacific
OPERATION FINISHED: A
clearance diver attaches ropes
to a WWII era bomb to remove
it for disposal during Operation
Render Safe in Solomon
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