After growing up in land-locked Gympie, Navy’s Leading Seaman Matthew Schultz made a sea change that pays.
Now a Navy Electronics Technician, the 32-year old is currently deployed on Operation Manitou aboard HMAS Newcastle.
The ship’s primary goal is to contribute to the international effort to promote maritime security and stability in the Middle East region.
Leading Seaman (LS) Schultz said he is responsible for maintaining and servicing the ship’s Air Search Radar and Mini-Typhoon weapon system.
“It’s a pretty straight forward job, but both the Air Search Radar and Mini-Typhoon are critical to how the ship operates,” he said.
“Although I’ve deployed to the Middle East before, I’m looking forward to seeing a few new places during this trip.”
LS Schultz said the deployment offered an opportunity for the crew of HMAS Newcastle to bond and become like family to one another.
“This is a great opportunity to travel the world and meet amazing people who will become friends for life,” he said.
“When you sail, the crew becomes your family, there is no one else you can turn to or rely on when things start to get hard.
“In some cases, your life is in your ship-mates’ hands, and their life is in yours, so you build a level of trust, respect and friendship which goes above and beyond.”
When he returns to Australia later in the year, LS Schultz said he was keen on heading back to Gympie.
“I’m looking forward to sleeping in my own bed, seeing my family and friends I’ve left behind, and heading home to catch up with everyone there,” he said.
HMAS Newcastle returns to her home port at Fleet Base East, Sydney in December this year.
The ship’s deployment marks the 65th rotation of a Navy vessel to the Middle East region since 1990.