Home' Navy News : November 12th 2009 Contents No matter how you slice it--
the difference is real.
With 230,000 hours of
combat flight in five years,
Insitu's ScanEagle® is a
proven success. Now our
technologically mature, user-
our tradition of providing the
Australian Defence Force with
the best UAS resources possible.
When lives are on the line,
07.3613.9400 | www.insitupacific.com
Field Proven. Field Focused.
Defence Force Credit Union Limited ABN 57 087 651 385 AFSL 234582 DEF1816_AANN (10/09)
Take out or renew selected insurance
for your chance to win.
For a competitive quote call 1800 033 139
or visit your local Defcredit branch.
Terms and conditions available at defcredit.com.au. Authorised under NSW Permit No. LTPS/09/09554 VIC Permit No. 09/3316 ACT
Permit No. ACT TP 09/04076 SA Permit No. T09/2369. Insurance products are issued by CGU Insurance Limited (CGU) ABN 27 004
478 371 or Swann Insurance (Aust) Pty. Limited (Swann) ABN 80 000 886 680. Please consider the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS)
before deciding to acquire any insurance product. Defcredit receives commission when selling CGU or Swann insurance products, please
refer to the Financial Services Guide (FSG). The PDS and FSG are available by calling 1800 033 139 or visiting any Defcredit branch.
through us you
in prizes to be won!
November 12, 2009
By LCDR Antony Underwood
PUBLIC relations officer LEUT Gary
McHugh was looking forward to a
three-week break from his normal job
with the Western Australian Department
of Racing, Gaming and Liquor to help
promote the work of the Armidale class
Now, via a rather circuitous route, he's
looking forward to stardom as the main
feature of a poster designed to encourage
people to join the Navy Reserve.
A former RAN radio operator with
six years service, Gary retired from the
PN in 2002 to study journalism and crea-
tive writing at WA's Curtin University.
He joined the Navy Reserve as
a PREL category officer in 2005 and
u nderwent Reserve Entry Officers'
Course training at HMAS Creswell.
"Since I got my degree, I've worked
in public relations in a number of WA
government departments," he said.
LEUT McHugh's arrangements to
travel to Darwin for three weeks promot-
ing the work and opportunities of the
Patrol Boat Force Element Group were
interrupted by a deadly earthquake that
rocked southern Sumatra with a magni-
tude of 7.6 on the Richter scale late on
the afternoon of September 30.
Australian Army engineers and medi-
cal personnel were flown into Padang,
the nearest airfield to the epicentre, 45km
to the west-north-west to set up a fresh
water supply and a field hospital to help
with the injured.
"Two days before I was due to fly out
for Darwin, I was tasked for Operation
Padang Assist and was flown from Perth
to Sydney on the 'midnight horror' to
join HMAS Kanimbla instead," LEUT
"I was pretty tired but they took me
under their wing on board -- the CO, XO
and entire command team -- in fact every-
body on board was incredibly supportive.
"So was the photographer, ABIS
Andrew Dakin, who deployed with me.
By the time we reached Sumatra, we had
done 23 hometown photos and he gener-
ally provided me with excellent support
throughout the deployment."
As public affairs advisor, LEUT
McHugh's task was also to promote
Kanimbla's activities to the Australian
public and he became involved in organ-
ising radio and television interviews
before departure, radio interviews en
route and more radio and TV interviews
"We anchored off Pariaman -- the vil-
lage near Padang nearest to the epicentre
-- on October 23," Gary said.
"We provided support to the joint task
force set up on the ground there includ-
ing offloading the embarked Army con-
tingent of 140, mainly engineers, and
deploying our primary casualty reception
facility of 30 medical experts to help out
with the Army field hospital established
In all, LEUT McHugh served three
weeks and two days with Operation
"I was flown out of Padang Airport in
an RAAF Hercules to Jakarta and thence,
via another C130 to Darwin and arrived
back on October 26."
LEUT McHugh said he was amazed
at the spirit on board Kanimbla.
"The ship's company had just returned
from the Papua New Guinea deployment,
Exercise Olgeta Warrior, the week before
they were deployed to Padang," he said.
"Morale was extremely high through-
out the ship and everyone pulled together
to get the job done."
LEUT McHugh's civilian boss was
pleased to see him.
"He was flat out -- under pressure
with a big media issue running when I
returned to work on October 27," he said.
"I'd done 25 to 30 reserve days per
year with the Army or at HMAS Stirling
but this was by far the most satisfying
work I've done so far as a PREL reserv-
Reserve features in new poster
IMAGE BUILDING: (Right) ABIS Andrew Dakin's portrait of LEUT Gary
McHugh aboard the Sea King.
Links Archive October 29th 2009 November 26th 2009 Navigation Previous Page Next Page