Home' Navy News : April 15th 2010 Contents 16
Meet (some!) of th
CMDR Chris Galloway, CO
CMDR Chris Galloway is one of
a number of highly experienced
Navy Reservists who come in
at short notice to help the Patrol
Boat Group (PBGRP) maintain its
CMDR Galloway, who has accu-
mulated 27 years service in the RAN,
with several breaks to further qualifi-
cations in the civil workplace, is one
of four Reserve officers who com-
mand ACPBs during Op Resolute
"Being a Reservist gives me and
the RAN great flexibility," he said.
"The multi-crewing concept has
created a 'handover' culture whereby
operational relief replacements, such
as myself, can often be found to sail
at short notice."
CMDR Galloway said the avail-
ability of Reservists and the hando-
ver and replacement system ensured
manning issues had less impact on
PBGRP operations than might other-
wise be the case.
CMDR Galloway, who has served
in Attack, Fremantle and Armidale
class patrol boats, said the people
who served on Op Resolute were
motivated by the challenge of con-
tributing to Australia's homeland
security and border protection.
He said the ACPBs were a great
platform and manned by highly moti-
vated sailors and officers.
CMDR Galloway said the crew of
Assail 6, like all ACPB crews, ben-
efitted from the small team environ-
ment of having responsibilities thrust
on them at a fairly junior level.
"It's a really great environment
on a patrol boat. With a small crew
of 24-30, every individual counts and
must step up to perform the role of a
rank higher," he said.
"For example, nowhere else in the
world do we rely on boarding teams
to discharge duties individually, or
for junior and senior sailors to have
the opportunity to perform the duties
of Officer of the Watch."
CMDR Galloway said his com-
mand philosophy of empowering
people to get on and do the job fitted
well with the culture of the PBGRP
and the crew of Assail 6.
"Empowering people means the
crew feel they can be involved and
demonstrate leadership at all levels,"
He said patrol boats were the per-
fect setting for the injection of indi-
vidual flair and creativity, because
even young sailors had good ideas
about what the 'big picture' was all
"I think that, with small crews,
patrol boats are a great opportunity
for sailors and junior officers to
consolidate their training, especially
as the level of autonomy and the
responsibility they carry is often
higher than in a MFU," he said.
LEUT Matt Warren is the XO of
Assail 6 and is really enjoying the
challenge and lifestyle of serving in an
"I joined the RAN in 2002 because I
believe strongly in the Navy and defend-
ing the nation," he said.
LEUT Warren posted to Assail 6 on
June 12 last year, during which time he
has exercised and developed his leader-
ship and navigation skills to a level not
possible in a MFU.
In his role as XO, LEUT Warren is in
charge of the whole ship's internal run-
ning, basically everything from keeping
the boat in a clean and organised state to
maintaining the annual continuum train-
ing from DC to man overboard evolu-
"I'm also responsible for ensuring
that the boat is postured to respond to
all the threats we face or potentially
LEUT Warren said he carried a lot of
responsibility for someone so junior in
rank, but it was also a great opportunity
to prepare for future postings.
"One of the advantages and most
stimulating challenges of being in a
patrol boat is being able to exercise lead-
ership at such a junior rank and young
LEUT Warren urged junior officers
who really want to step up to the mark
to jump on board patrol boats because it
was a great opportunity to exhibit true
"In an ACPB you do everything you
have trained for. Here you are very much
in charge of running the whole ship,
which is very, very rewarding."
LEUT Matt Warren, XO
AB Billy-Joe Grotherr, BM
ABBM Billy-Joe Grotherr is one
of Assail 6's boarding party who
regularly comes face-to-face with
people smugglers and illegal fish-
"I really enjoy the challenge and
excitement of the Resolute patrols,"
ABBM Grotherr has been in the
Navy for five years and finds every
day a new challenge.
"I just couldn't imagine a nine-
to-five job after having been in the
ABBM Grotherr said since June
2009 Assail 6 had apprehended 18
"Like this patrol, it's been really
busy at sea," he said.
ABBM Grotherr said that, in
addition to his role with the board-
ing party, he, like all BMs, was
expected to provide the specialist
knowledge, training and supervision
of the more advanced seamanship
evolutions including anchor work,
rope work, small boat handling and
operations, berthing, towing, helms-
manship and replenishment at sea.
ABBM Grotherr is one of the
Navy's close range weapon special-
ists who can maintain and operate
weapons like the Typhoon and Mini-
Typhoon electro-optical remotely
fired gun systems, 12.7mm heavy
machine gun, F88 Austeyr rifle and
the F89 Minimi machine guns.
ABBM Grotherr said when he
gets promoted to LSBM, he has the
option of becoming an Officer of the
Watch on an ACPB after obtaining
his Limited Navigation Watch keep-
SOME 28-years ago, a baby-faced
Dean Watkins from Apollo Bay in
Victoria answered the call of the
sea and joined the RAN.
Since 1999, he has served
with the PBGRP in Fremantle and
Armidale class patrol boats based in
CPO Watkins is currently posted
to Assail 6 as the Boarding Officer,
where he is responsible for all board-
ing operations as well as the training
of boarding party members.
"I'm also one of the Officers of
the Watch, as well as DCI, DC train-
ing and fire fighting, in addition to
being one of the Divisional Officers
for the executive category sailors,"
CPO Watkins has been with
Assail 6 for more than a month, but
admits he is still feeling his way
around the boat and the crew's vari-
The old salt has performed count-
less patrols over the years, so many
in fact that he stopped counting after
completing 200 boardings from
Fremantle class patrol boats.
"I can remember one year my
boat, HMAS Dubbo, apprehended
more than 2000 people in just nine
months," he said.
CPO Watkins said this particular
Op Resolute patrol was fairly event-
ful given it involved the boarding and
apprehension of one FFV and two
SIEVs while HMAS Ararat was on
station at Ashmore Reef.
CPO Dean Watkins, Boarding Officer
His eight man boarding party
deploys in two 7.2m Zodiac Jet
RHIBS that have the horse-power and
versatility to intercept Type II and
Type III FFVs fleeing the AEEZ with
their illegal catch.
"The boarding party work at a
pretty high tempo, but it's worthwhile
because we are making a meaningful
contribution to an important homeland
security operation," he said.
CPO Watkins said he would con-
tinue to give the PBGRP another two
years, to crack the 30-year milestone,
before giving any thought of swallow-
ing the anchor.
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