In grand family tradition
When HMAS Perth sets off to sea this week from Garden Island for a six-month operation in the Middle East it will be a special occasion for one Rockingham sailor.
Among the 192-strong crew is Able Seaman marine technician Shane Stainton, who leaves his Rockingham home and sets off on his first deployment.
The HMAS Perth will be involved in a multinational maritime security operation, conducting counterterrorism patrols as the main object of its Operation MANITOU.
For AB Stainton, this deployment ends a long wait to follow a family tradition.
“My dad Jim is still serving in the navy himself so, for most of my life, I have understood what it is like to go to sea for a long period of time and what could be expected of me,” he said.
“I always wanted to follow in his footsteps and be a marine technician as well.”
AB Stainton has a close affiliation with Rockingham and lived the majority of his life here.
“I grew up in the Rockingham area so I have had a good understanding of navy life from a very young age,” he said.
“Dad was posted here in 1999 and, apart from times away for training, this area is where I went to school and where many of my friends are.
“I went to school at Secret Harbour Primary and then onto Mandurah High School, then Mandurah Senior College.”
AB Stainton said although he was excited to deploy, he would also think of home over the next six months at sea.
“It will be great to visit some ports and other countries whilst I am away but home won’t be too far from my thoughts as well,” he said.
“Being able to go to the beaches around the Rockingham and Secret Harbour area is something I remember growing up here and is something that is a real plus for living here as well.
“I think it will be hard when I’m away to find some whiter beaches than what we have here, but it will be fun trying.”
Able Seaman marine technician Shane Stainton checks high-pressure gauges onboard HMAS Perth during a set of technical rounds that are carried out routinely while the ship is at sea.