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Toby Pink - Townsville

Townsville's Toby Pink has spent Anzac Day on operations this year as a member of HMAS Arunta ship's company during its maritime security deployment to the Middle East.

As part of her longest Middle East deployment, HMAS Arunta and her ship's company took the opportunity for some downtime at Naval Support Activity, Bahrain, over Anzac Day.

The Royal Australian Navy sailor Able Seaman Combat Systems Operator (ABCSO) was born in the UK but grew up in Townsville and said he was looking forward to a break in the busy deployment.

"Anzac Day is a particularly special day for me, as it lets me reflect on my contribution to Australia," he said.

ABCSO Pink enlisted into the Navy in 2013 as an Air Warfare sailor.

"My primary role onboard the ship is to man the air picture console in the operations room," he said.

"From there, I use the ship's radars and other bits of equipment to track aircraft which are near the ship, and help stop any air threats.

This is ABCSO Pink's first operational deployment and the first time he has sailed outside of Australian waters.

"I've been at sea to assist HMAS Canberra with the Landing Helicopter Dock's first-of-class work up, and I've put a ship up on stilts for a refurbishment, but this will be my first deployment," he said.

"I joined HMAS Arunta two days before she put to sea for her seven week work-up exercise, so we definitely hit the ground running.

"Some of the places we’ve docked at during this deployment are places I never thought I would get the opportunity to go to."

On his return to Australia later in the year, ABCSO Pink said he is looking forward to catching up with mates he hasn't seen in years.

"The Strand is one of my favourite places, I used to run there in the evenings and take part in boot camps at the parks sometimes," he said.

"It's been a bit more than two years since I was last in Queensland, so I'm looking forward to getting back there."

Operation MANITOU is the ADF contribution to the US-led Combined Maritime Forces, which is a 31-nation partnership focused on defeating terrorism, preventing piracy, encouraging regional cooperation and promoting a safe maritime environment in the Middle East region.

There are over 1700 ADF personnel deployed on operations ACCORDION, OKRA, HIGHROAD and MANITOU over Anzac Day this year.