In grand fam­ily tra­di­tion

Southern Telegraph - - News - Gareth McKnight

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.

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