When he left his small country town in South Australian this Langhorne Creek lad was chasing his dream of fast-paced adventure as a sailor in the Royal Australian Navy.
Able Seaman (AB) Electronics Technician Samuel Borrett is now living that dream and is deployed aboard HMAS Melbourne, which is patrolling in the Middle East region on Operation Manitou, Australia's contribution to the multinational Combined Maritime Forces (CMF).
In his role as a fire controller and maintainer of the Mark 92 Fire Control System, AB Borrett spends his watches at a console within the warship detecting targets and ensuring the systems are ready for action.
The US-built medium-range anti-aircraft missile and gun fire control system assigns targets via the ship's air search and surface search radars, or from the Mark 92's own search radar.
The Mark 92 controls Melbourne's 76mm gun, Harpoon anti-ship missile, Standard Missile 2 anti-aircraft system and the Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (EESM) air defence system.
AB Borrett said he was always interested in a career in electronics and joining the Navy was a fantastic way to learn his trade and travel the world.
"I heard stories about how the training would be the hardest time of my life, but it was not as hard as I expected and I totally enjoyed the HMAS Cerberus Recruit School experience," he said.
"I then spent nearly 10 months of intensive training to learn my trade, which was a challenge because there was so much knowledge to take in all at once about electronics, radar and weapons systems.
"I went to the United States for 12 months in 2013 for the Mark 92 Fire Control System course held in San Diego at the 42nd Street Naval Base before I posted to Melbourne."
Melbourne is conducting maritime security operations with CMF’s Combined Task Force 150 in the Indian Ocean and Arabian Gulf.
The ship undertakes patrols to intercept the trafficking of drugs that help fund international terrorism.
During Melbourne's first patrol of 2015, the crew seized and disposed of 427kg of heroin found on a fishing dhow in the Arabian Sea.
AB Borrett said Operation Manitou was his first operational deployment.
"Melbourne’s success on this tour has been fantastic and I feel proud to have been a part of it," he said.
"Serving with the navies of other nations in the Middle East is quite an achievement and the next goal will be to hopefully stop more illegal drug shipments."
AB Borrett said the best part of being on Melbourne is the camaraderie of the crew.
It allows great friendships to be formed.
"There's not one person onboard I couldn’t talk to or approach for help," he said.
"It's an amazing crew."
AB Borrett said he looked forward to going home on leave next year and catching up with his friends and family in Langhorne Creek and going to the nearby town of Strathalbin for a beer at the Victoria Hotel.
"Maybe I will even be able to play a game of lawn bowls with the local team again," he said.