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December 6, 2012
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CPL Nick Wiseman
FORCE Support Unit 6 (FSU6)
returned to Australia in October after
a six-month deployment to the Middle
East supporting troops in Tarin Kot,
Khandahar, Kabul and Al Minhad Air
Comprising 138 soldiers, sailors
and airmen from 52 units across
Australia, the unit provided logistical,
administrative and health support.
CO FSU6 LTCOL Phil McMaster
said it had been a great deployment and
he was pleased with how the unit went.
of the jobs of the FSU was the mortuary
services and over the time we were there,
it was extremely sad to be involved in
the repatriation of 10 Australian and
New Zealanders," he said.
"The troops performed this role in
a very dignified way reflective of the
great service that our fallen comrades
While deployed, the unit was
responsible for the reception, staging,
onward movement and integration
training all members receive before
setting foot into an operational theatre.
They provided this training to 2500
members while deployed, delivered a
mass of mail to the Middle East and
distributed $4 million in allowances to
More than 200 family and guests
attended the welcome home parade
which formally marked the closure of
the mission on November 19.
LEUT Ami Hansen
THE Meteorology and Oceanographic
(METOC) community welcomed two
new maritime geospatial officers on
LEUT Christie Underwood and
LEUT Kiri Nothdurft graduated from
the Bureau of Meteorology with a
Graduate Diploma in Meteorology.
LEUT Nothdurft said the 11
months of study had been rewarding.
"The course was challenging and
it was great to finally get the opportu-
nity to put into practice all the theory
we have learnt in a tactical environ-
ment," she said.
LEUT Underwood said she was
looking forward to the challenges ahead.
"I am very excited to be starting a
new phase of my career in a specialist
field which is really quite unique to
the Navy," she said.
LEUTs Underwood and Nothdurft
will commence their METOC careers
at HQJOC, joining the Joint Control
Centre Meteorology Operations
The centre provides a 24/7 weather
watch and forecasting capability for
the Fleet and gives advice to HQJOC
staff and Chief of Joint Operations on
the effects of the weather for deployed
personnel and after natural disasters.
The METOC course also has a mili-
tary component at HMAS Albatross,
which for the first time this year includ-
ed a METOC reserve officer, LEUT
Tristan King, and an international stu-
dent, LCDR Manoj Mahawar, of the
SCHOOL'S OUT: Members of METOC Class 2012 stand with DG Navy Hydrography CDRE Rod Nairn at
the airfield at HMAS Albatross. From left, LCDR Manoj Mahawar, LEUT Christie Underwood, CMDR Robyn
Phillips, CDRE Nairn, LEUT Ami Hansen, LEUT Kiri Nothdurft and LEUT Tristan King.
Indian Navy. LEUT King said the
course highlighted the importance of
producing high-quality weather, cli-
mate and oceanographic products for
use in the Navy and wider Defence
"We explored the ways in which
this intelligence can be exploited to
best achieve the task of fighting and
winning at sea," he said.
LEUT King's day job is forecast-
ing for the Bureau of Meteorology
in Darwin. However, after complet-
ing his Reserve Entry Officers Course
(REOC) he will be available at
HQJOC or Naval Air Station Weather
and Oceanography Centre in Nowra
to cover surge commitments as opera-
tions and exercises demand.
"I look forward to completing
phase four of REOC so I can contrib-
ute as a METOC in the Navy," he said.
Deputy Director METOC Policy
and Plans CMDR Robyn Phillips
said the graduates could look forward
to exciting and rewarding careers.
"LEUTs Nothdurft, Underwood and
King have joined the METOC commu-
nity at a very exciting time," she said.
"They will be able to work
towards a variety of interesting career
opportunities, including being posted
onto a LHD or spending a summer
forecasting in Antarctica."
The METOC community is always
looking for qualified maritime warfare
officers who have a bachelor's degree
with a strong background in science
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