Less than six months out of basic training, Seaman Maritime Logistics - Personnel Operations Jasmine Lortan is already on the front line of a multi-national operation to counter terrorism and promote maritime security in the Middle East.
Seaman Lortan is one of 190 sailors crewing HMAS Arunta, Australia’s contribution to maritime security operations for Operation MANITOU.
“I’m excited and thankful that at 20 years old and less than six months out of basic training, the Navy has already taken me to several amazing countries and on operational deployment,” she said.
She said she found it was rewarding to be part of something that is having a positive influence on the world.
“I will be able to look back and be proud of what I have accomplished so far at the start of my Naval career.”
She moved with her parents to Australia from South Africa as a toddler and lived in the Sydney area until she joined the Navy in mid-2015.
“I joined the Navy to travel, gain experience and have secure employment,” she said.
“Being a part of an organisation like the Royal Australian Navy
means that I can both directly and indirectly continue to help people as part of my career.”
The deployment is her first overseas trip, which she says is exciting but has presented some unexpected challenges.
“The beds are small and stacked three-high,” she said.
“My bed is on the top and there is no ladder, so I have to monkey myself up and down from there every morning and night.”
Apart from climbing in and out of her bed every day, her fitness is kept high with flight deck group classes with the ship’s physical training instructor twice a day.
“The food onboard is healthy and there is plenty of physical training classes as well as a gym onboard.”
Her core role onboard is managing the ship’s registry and correspondence.
“It’s a busy job, there is always something coming in and out of the ship and my main job is to keep track and make sure it goes to the right people,” she said.
There are also a lot of other duties that everyone pitches in to do as part of a community living on a ship.
“Some of these are the Ship’s Medical Emergency Team, the scullery and helping with the lines when the ship pulls in and out of port.”
The ship is nearly half way into her deployment and has resupplied at several ports along the way, which has allowed Seaman Lorton a glimpse of more than just the ocean over the past few months.
“Our first port visit was Goa in India,” Seaman Lortan said.
“It was really amazing to experience the culture and local food.
“From there we have been extremely lucky to have visited some beautiful Middle Easte
rn ports such as Muscat in Oman
, as well as Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.”
The start of a long career one suspects.