Victorian Prepares to Take HMAS Melbourne to Middle East

Victorian Prepares to Take HMAS Melbourne to Middle East

Able Seaman Electronics Technician Peteris Kains had never dreamt that he would one day deploy to the Middle East Area of Operations (MEAO) as part of the international campaign against terrorism, let alone in a ship named after his home state’s capital city.

That’s exactly what AB Kains will do this Sunday, when the sailor who hails from Mount Eliza, 60 km south-east of Melbourne, departs Fleet Base East in the Adelaide Class Guided Missile Frigate HMAS Melbourne.

In the MEAO, AB Kains and his 240 shipmates will conduct maritime security patrols as part of Operation SLIPPER. Their mission is to counter terrorism, smuggling and piracy in the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden, the Arabian Gulf and the Indian Ocean.

AB Kains’ job involves maintaining the ship’s fire control systems. During Melbourne’s six month deployment, he will also keep watches, remain prepared to defend the ship against missile and aircraft threats and take part in whole ship activities such as replenishments at sea, which will allow Melbourne to receive fuel and stores from coalition supply ships.

To ensure he succeeds in his role, the Peninsula School graduate has received world-class training since joining the Royal Australian Navy in 2008. After 11 months of Recruit School and Electronics Technician Initial Employment Training at HMAS Cerberus, AB Kains went on to complete a further 3 months of electronics training at TAFE, and then finally embarked on 10 months of category training in the USA, where he learned to maintain the Mk92 Fire Control System. After completing the extensive training program, he entered the fleet for practical continuation training and to progress his competency log.

The deployment in Melbourne will be AB Kains’ first to the MEAO. He has previously deployed on Operation RESOLUTE to conduct border protection operations in Northern Australian waters in HMAS Manoora.

For his time in the MEAO, he will earn the Australian Active Service Medal (AASM) and the Afghanistan campaign medal.

AB Kains is looking forward to returning to Sydney next year, to be reunited with his wife, Arta, and his young son, who will be 18 months old by the time AB Kains arrives home.

Press Release, August 20, 2013; Image: Australian Navy