Home' Navy News : November 21st 2013 Contents 2 NEWS
trip of a
FOR the first time in 10 years, Navy's
purpose-built Antarctic Survey Vessel
(ASV) Wyatt Earp will deploy to
Antarctica with five members from the
Deployable Geospatial Support Team
OIC DGST LEUT Peter Waring,
POHSM Graham Campton, POMT
Michael Cameron, LSHSO Cameron
Rea and ABHSO Roek Dyer, based at
HMAS Waterhen, are in Hobart for pre-
deployment training before embarking
in the Australian icebreaker RSV Aurora
Australis on December 9 for four weeks.
During the deployment, the team
will conduct survey operations in Wyatt
Earp, which will improve the qual-
ity of charting in Australia's Antarctic
"The data collected by Navy sur-
veyors has direct relevance to a number
of scientific programs undertaken by
the Australian Antarctic Division and
improvements to charting will enable
safer navigation in the vicinity of the
Australian stations," LEUT Waring said.
"There has been a proliferation of
cruise ship activity in the region, a great
deal of which occurs within Australia's
area of search and rescue responsibility.
Improved charting therefore has a very
obvious effect on the safety of these
Many cruise ships are navigating
unsurveyed or inadequately charted
waters to avoid ice obstructions. PO
Campton said the team would conduct
surveys around the sheltered bays to the
north and south of Casey Station.
"These will allow alternative anchor-
ages for vessels in less than favourable
weather and offer some scientific data to
the oceanographic community," he said.
LEUT Waring said it would be
Navy's first Antarctic hydrographic sur-
vey using Wyatt Earp since the 2003-04
"Wyatt Earp has recently under-
gone a significant upgrade including
the installation of a modern multibeam
echo sounder that will enable a far
greater coverage of the sea floor," LEUT
PO Cameron said it had been a large
project to get the ASV up and running.
"DGST spent months ensuring
the ASV was ready for its tasking in
Antarctica, as it had spent quite a few
years laid up and not in use," he said.
Wyatt Earp came out of extensive
refurbishment in April and the deploy-
ment will continue its operational testing
in Antarctic conditions.
"Newcomb Bay and O'Briens Bay
are either unsurveyed or not surveyed by
modern surveying techniques, making
them ideal areas to prove the ASV for
its operational evaluation," PO Campton
"With the refurbishment of Wyatt
Earp, there now lies a great opportunity
to maintain this commitment as it used to
be an annual deployment, and a massive
reward to some of the hard-working sail-
ors in our branch who now have a mas-
sive carrot as an incentive to work toward
in their naval career."
While it is the first visit to Antarctica
for most of the team, PO Campton is
looking forward to returning.
"I was fortunate enough to be select-
ed for the 2011-2012 season to survey
Commonwealth Bay on the centenary of
Sir Douglas Mawson's landing there,"
"This trip will give me the oppor-
tunity to display my skills as a mariner
and surveyor in one of the most unique
environments on earth."
PO Campton will be in control of the
sonar controller and survey acquisition
"Once the data has been collected
I will be assisting the officer-in-charge
to process the data and write the report
of survey for charting action by the
Australian Hydrographic Office," he said.
"I will also be used in a secondary
role as a coxswain for the boat to help
reduce fatigue and give the other team
members some time on the system."
He is also hoping to see something
"The penguins, they're unbeliev-
able," he said.
"Last time we were down there in the
Aurora Australis we ran into ice early
and the decision was made to stay put
for a few days. Within a couple of hours
of stopping, little dots appeared on the
horizon and within half a day we were
surrounded by a colony of Adelie pen-
guins who started playing, fishing and
wallowing around the boat giving the
expeditioners no end of entertainment."
Although it will be LEUT Waring's
first trip to the region, he is trying not to
get too excited.
"It has been a challenging process
to get the ASV ready to deploy and so I
have tried to avoid daydreaming about
specific highlights," he said.
"Sailing from Hobart with the ASV
securely in place and all members of
DGST on board is the moment I am
most looking forward to -- anything
more will be a bonus."
PO Cameron is also excited about his
"I'm looking forward to being in
Antarctica and seeing and experienc-
ing everything I can about one of the
world's most beautiful and unique
places," he said.
PO Cameron's job as DGST's techni-
cal sailor is to start up and monitor the
operation of the ASV's engines and gener-
ator. He said working in Antarctica posed
some unique challenges to the team.
"The biggest challenge will be ensur-
ing the machinery is running correctly in
the extreme cold conditions," he said.
PO Campton agreed the weather
would be the biggest problem.
"After all the meticulous planning
has been conducted, Antarctica has the
knack of throwing you a curve ball by
icing in a bay that was previously open
or becoming the windiest place on earth
in a matter of hours," he said.
"The environment is very unforgiv-
ing down there so we have had specific
training to enable us to conduct opera-
tions as safely and efficiently as pos-
-- POHSM Graham Campton
This trip will give me
the opportunity to
display my skills as a
mariner and surveyor
in one of the most
ABHSO Roek Der and LSH-
SO Cameron Rea are looking
forward to their first Antarctic
LS Rea will be the supervi-
sor and driver of Wyatt Earp
while AB Dyer will help drive
and collect terrestrial data as
they sail around Antarctica
gathering valuable survey
data to use in developing nau-
tical navigational charts and in
Australian scientific research.
"It's been something I have
wanted to do since I was a
little kid," LS Rea said.
"Everything I have done in
the Navy has been to get to
this position, so I could not be
"I have been very lucky in
my postings and deployments
to get to this moment and I
am happy that I was able to
reach it so quickly."
AB Dyer said it was great
work to be a part of.
"I'm really looking forward
to completing the work," AB
"It's a really great crew and
a really great ship. The job is
important, as it will give mari-
ners the confidence to travel
in the region."
He said it had been excit-
ing waiting to deploy.
"We have been preparing
for this trip for a long time;
getting the ship ready, and
making sure everything is in
order. So it's really exciting the
time has finally come to set
out," he said.
The natural beauty of the
environment is something
LS Rea is looking forward to
"We theoretically have the
opportunity to see the aurora
australis. It's the right time
of year but it is very weather
dependent; so hopefully we
are lucky enough to catch it,
otherwise I really want to take
a photo of a penguin," he said.
Dreams come true
WHITE CHRISTMAS: The DGST in Hobart and ready to deploy to
Antarctica next month. (L-R) POHSM Graham Campton, ABHSO
Roek Dyer, POMT Michael Cameron, OIC LEUT Peter Waring and
LSHSO Cameron Rea (kneeling).
Photo: ABIS Richard Cordell
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