For Tocumwal's Justin Haynes one of the highlights of being a sailor in the Royal Australian Navy is getting the opportunity to travel overseas as part of his job.
Able Seaman Boatswains Mate Haynes is a member of Attack Four patrol boat crew, which is currently embarked in the Armidale class patrol boat HMAS Larrakia.
Luckily for Justin, Larrakia is undertaking a six-week deployment to Southeast Asia, which includes port visits to Sandakan in Malaysia’s Borneo state and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam.
"I really enjoy seeing and experiencing new countries and cultures," Justin said.
During the port visit to Sandakan, Justin and the crew explored the local culture and learnt something about the Sandakan death marches in WWII that claimed the lives of 2,700 Australian and British PoWs.
Justin loves the Navy and the lifestyle but never passes up an opportunity to visit his family back home.
"I love the Navy but I also love getting home to catch up with my family and friends, which I do as often as possible," he said.
"I have family in Tocumwal and Rutherglen, so my leave period is always very busy."
After completing his studies at Albury High School, he worked briefly in his dad Stephen’s, business before joining the Navy at the age of 17.
Justin’s job on board the ship involves being at the centre of a range of duties, such as boarding parties, bridge duties and maintaining the ship’s survival equipment.
He is enjoying his time at sea, but this is not his first voyage overseas with the Navy.
"In 2009 I served in former HMAS Kanimbla when the ship deployed to Operation Padang Assist, which was the ADF’s humanitarian assistance mission to help the people of Sumatra after a devastating earthquake," he said.
He has also been to Exercise Rim of the Pacific, a multinational defence exercise hosted by the United States off the coast of Hawaii every two years.Larrakia will return to her home port of Darwin in late October.