Twenty-year-old Mt Druitt local Nathan Bolstad had never been out of Australia before joining Armidale Class Patrol Boat crew Attack Four.
"But that changed pretty quickly," he said.
"I had only been with Attack Four for a couple of weeks before I found out we were going on a South East Asian deployment."
Nathan, or Seaman Marine Technician Bolstad to give him his correct title, and the Attack Four crew are coming to the end of a six-week deployment that has taken them to Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines.
Seaman Bolstad, whose job onboard involves the maintenance and operation of the ship's mechanical and electrical systems, said the deployment had been an eye-opener for him.
"Despite having conducted a border protection operation before this deployment, I've never actually been to a foreign country, so it was a great experience which I probably wouldn't have had if I wasn't in the Navy," he said.
After finishing his schooling at Richard Johnson Anglican School, SMN Bolstad tried his hand at working as a cashier but that job couldn't compete with the Navy.
"After going through Recruit School, I started my training as an MT sailor before going to sea to continue my on-the-job training," he said.
Technical sailors are expected to be proficient in a number of various engineering systems and as such the training component of their jobs is integral to their ability to contribute to the safe and efficient running of the ship in which they are serving.
As part of this training regime, SMN Bolstad is currently working through his Engineering Competency Log which he must complete before progressing through the ranks.
Larrakia will return to her home port of Darwin on completion of her current tasking.