Barry Hampson of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ National Office in Woden has taken time off to deploy overseas with the Australian Army.
Barry, a Major in the Army Reserves, is currently embarked in HMAS Tobruk and is deployed to Papua New Guinea as the Officer Commanding of the ship’s Army detachment.
HMAS Tobruk has just completed Pacific Partnership 2013, a humanitarian and civic assistance mission to the townships of Wewak and Vanimo on the northern coast of the country.
His role throughout the mission has been to oversee the safe transport of 300 personnel ashore each day as well as cargo for medical and engineering teams undertaking projects ashore.
The role has been demanding on Barry and his team as they have worked long days to maximise the amount of time for forces working ashore and remain on the ground to render aid.
“I have a very good team in the ship’s Army detachment and they work well together to help the ship accomplish its mission,” he said.
“The ship’s Army detachment bring a critical capability to HMAS Tobruk. Without them our amphibious capability and humanitarian operations would stop.”
“I’m here to make sure they are integrated into the ship and can safely get the job done with the ship’s company.”
Barry has served in the Army since 1980 when he joined as a Private.
His full time Army career spanned 20 years until 2001 when he commenced his role with the DVA.
Since then he has taken time to serve full time contracts with the Army including his current contact for Pacific Partnership 2013.
“The DVA have been fantastic looking after me so I can do reserve time,” Barry said.
On top of the role Barry has played in the Pacific Partnership 2013 he believes his reserve time also brings benefits back to the DVA.
“While in the service environment I can educate the crew in DVA matters and services so they know what we can do for them if they ever need us.
“At the same time I’m gaining project and contract management experience, leadership, and team building skills which hopefully adds value to my role at the DVA.”
Barry will return to Australia with HMAS Tobruk in late July and will recommence with the DVA shortly thereafter.