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October 27, 2011
By LSIS Paul Berry
ABCIS Brett Minett is flying the
Navy flag as one of the first two
communications information sys-
tems junior sailors deployed with the
Force Communication Unit (FCU).
ABCIS Minett works in the FCU
support cell at Headquarters Joint Task
Force 633 in the UAE, providing 24/7
communications and information sup-
port to ADF personnel throughout the
Middle East Area of Operation.
"We liaise with all other FCU
cells in theatre and provide IT sup-
port, particularly for command staff as
they move in and around the theatre,"
ABCIS Minett said.
ABCIS Minett, a former Darwin-
based Assail Six patrol boat crew
member, said the transition to the tri-
service environment had been smooth.
"My day-to-day job at sea was as a
network administrator, similar to what
I am doing here apart from providing
help-desk support," he said.
ABCIS Minett, ABCIS Christy
Rowe, WO Andrew Bertoncin and
LEUT John Sutherland represent
Navy in the 119-strong FCU, with
about one-third Air Force and the
majority Army, drawn from the 3rd
Brigade's 3 Combat Signal Regiment
ABCIS Minett said the Navy and
Air Force personnel had integrated
well into the Army environment.
"We've got a great team here.
Some of the processes are a bit differ-
ent but we come together and get the
job done," he said.
"As a CIS, I think this is a great
opportunity for us. It gives us insight
into how we conduct joint operations."
Commanding Officer FCU,
LTCOL Dan Bennett, said the Navy
personnel had been a valuable addition
to the FCU capability.
"Given our technical responsibili-
ties to the ships over here, it has real-
ly helped our understanding of what
they're going through and why certain
things happen," LTCOL Bennett said.
"The Navy guys have pushed for-
ward into theatre on a number of occa-
sions so, it has been really integrated."
LTCOL Bennett said each Service
brought different experiences, proce-
dures and culture to the FCU.
"It's the biggest deployed network
the ADF has ever fielded and the most
complex, as we now link into coalition
networks," he said.
"The guys have put in such an
effort to achieve the mission that
we've been set and we really have
been able to provide a consistent level
of communications to support the con-
duct of operations."
NEW EXPERIENCE: ABCIS
Brett Minett is deployed
with the tri-service Force
Communications Unit (FCU)
at Headquarters Joint Task
Force 633 at Al Minhad Air
Base in the United Arab
Emirates. He is one of the
first two junior CIS sailors to
deploy with the FCU.
Photo: LSIS Paul Berry
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