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March 15, 2012
Ballarat fires up a storm
THE war-cry of HMAS Ballarat's 127mm
Mk 45 automatic gun echoed throughout
Jervis Bay when she fired 13 rounds as
part of a challenging air warfare serial
during Exercise Triton Storm.
Ballarat was part of a combined task
group of RAN and Royal New Zealand
Navy (RNZN) warships, maritime heli-
copters and clearance divers participat-
ing in Exercise Triton Storm 12 from
Operating off the east coast of Jervis
Bay, Ballarat conducted live firings of
her 127mm gun, seamanship evolutions,
mine-hunting and air warfare serials that
also involved F/A-18 Hornets, Hawk jet-
fighters and Wedgetail Airborne Early
Warning and Control aircraft.
Ballarat fired her main gun and
crew-served 50-calibre machineguns
in response to an attack by three Hawk
fighters that flew attack profiles over the
ship to simulate anti-ship missiles.
The attack marked a baptism of fire
for Ballarat's Officer of the Watch trainee,
SBLT Miquela Riley.
The JWAC Phase Four officer said
Triton Storm marked her first real intro-
duction to naval warfare.
"I haven't had much exposure to
warfare which is why I've found Triton
Storm so challenging and stimulating,"
SBLT Riley said she was excited by
the prospect of Triton Storm Phase Two
in the West, where she was scheduled
to qualify for her Bridge Watchkeeping
While SBLT Riley juggled a multitude
of tasks on the bridge during the simu-
lated air attack, ABBM Matthew Bennett
had his hands full with the task of firing a
50 calibre machine gun.
ABBM Bennett said during Triton
Storm he had honed his anti-air and anti-
submarine warfare skills.
"It's been really good to do this indi-
vidual and collective training because it
has improved our high-end war-fighting
skills," he said.
ABBM Bennett said he loved firing
the 50 calibre machine gun which was
Thompson, is one of five ABCKs who
prepared some 600 main meals and
snacks a day, while also shouldering
the burden as medics or members of the
CO Ballarat CMDR Jonathan Earley
said Triton Storm served as an important
shake-down period after the annual break.
"Triton Storm provides valuable
opportunities to hone mariner and war-
fighting skills in a multi-unit, multi-threat
environment, but in a measured way," he
"Ultimately, the exercise will provide
the necessary exposure for ship's com-
pany to achieve individual and collec-
tive training outcomes while ensuring we
maintain our operational preparedness."
At the conclusion of Triton Storm
Phase Two, Ballarat started a three-month
deployment to Asia to undertake major
bilateral exercises including Exercise
on why he had "the best job in
rat's Ops Room was also a hive
ity during Triton
with the Principle
ale of the
C K Jasmine
FROM CERBERUS TO SEA
TWO members of HMAS Ballarat's ship's
company share their journey from a trainee to
a valued part of the frigate.
SMNET Edward Steers
I joined the Navy from Brisbane in November
2009. After initial training at HMAS Cerberus
and a short spell at FSU Sydney, I joined
HMAS Ballarat in July 2011.
My first thoughts were "how am I ever
going to find my way around" because the
ship felt like a giant maze.
The ship's routine is very different from
anything I had experienced, however, these
initial anxious feelings were outweighed by
the excitement of being on board a warship.
The ship's first tasking was Exercise
Talisman Sabre -- a perfect opportunity to
experience life at sea.
Within the first week I became proficient
in whole ship evolutions such as replenish-
ment at sea, man overboard, special sea
duties, launching boats and damage control.
I'm proud to say I am now a confident
and proficient member of the ship's company.
I am close to finishing my competency task
journal and I can then go ashore and finish
my training and become a fully qualified elec-
SMNMT Louise McDermott
After nine months of trade training at HMAS
Cerberus, it's time to move into the fleet.
Instructors and staff do their best to
prepare you, but until you arrive, it is still
unknown and it can take a couple of weeks to
find your feet.
I began consolidation training at the Fleet
Support Unit (FSU). There are ships alongside
that required maintenance, and with any luck,
FSU will be tasked. This means a wide variety
of jobs on several different platforms. This is
a good experience for those who are unsure
of where they would prefer to be posted.
After a month at FSU, I completed weld-
ing tasks, mechanical cutting tasks and learnt
how to operate several different types of
From day one you are told your career is
in your hands and in my experience it is defi-
nitely the case. If you have a positive attitude,
the staff at FSU are more than willing to sup-
port your progression.
I posted to HMAS Ballarat in August and
have learnt more than expected. My supervi-
sors are experienced and happy to pass on
the knowledge they have.
I love shipboard life and being at sea. It
is hard and very rewarding work. I also take
comfort in trusting my life to the hands of my
shipmates and hope they do the same.
her 127mm gun
during an air
Officer of the
Riley at action
an air warfare
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