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Nathan Hicks - Perth

For 14 years Nathan Hicks has worked both as an officer in the Western Australia Police Force and a sailor in the Royal Australian Navy.

He has temporarily put aside his duties in Police Prosecutions to deploy full time with the Navy throughout the Pacific aboard HMAS Adelaide as a drummer with the Navy Band.

Originally from Wembley in the west of Perth, he has most recently visited Hawaii for Exercise Rim of the Pacific  (RIMPAC) following port visits to Suva in Fiji and Nuku'alofa in Tonga as part of the multi-ship Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2018 task group deployment.

"This is my first deployment and my first time at sea and it's a once in a lifetime chance go abroad and promote the Australian Defence Force through music," Able Seaman Musician Hicks said.

"We performed for more than 1,000 children at a local high school in Tonga and to see the look on their faces while they clapped and danced was priceless. In return the kids sang their school song for us and the wall of sound blew me away.

"It's also been great to visit Pearl Harbor, see the history and be part of the world's largest military exercise."

RIMPAC is a biennial military training exercise to strengthen international maritime partnerships, enhance interoperability and improve the readiness of participating forces for a wide range of potential scenarios.

"We've had the chance to play with some awesome musicians from the US Navy's Pacific Fleet Band and perform at official receptions, local schools and hospitals and at Independence Day celebrations."

Able Seaman Hicks said he finds both of his careers complement each other, giving him enhanced skills as a police officer and as a sailor.

"In addition to the teamwork of both jobs, I find the main skill I can build on is communication," he said.

"I have the chance to talk with everyone from the Chief of Navy to a junior sailor in one job, or from a Chief Magistrate to fellow officers across police branches in the other job.

"Both jobs mean I get to interact with the public a lot."

Although managing parallel careers requires balance, he strongly believes deploying as a reservist is worthwhile.

"It isn't something you would get to do in the average job," he said.

"I've been able to work with full time sailors from other backgrounds and see how they help make the ship run smoothly.

"I can take those experiences back to other reserve units and bring something new to policing."

The multinational RIMPAC activity, held from 27 June to 2 August in Hawaii and off the coast of California, is the world's largest maritime exercise and involves 25,000 personnel from 25 countries.

On return from this deployment he will recommence his policing duties full time bringing his Navy experiences to the force.