Palmerston North Girls’ High Old Girl In Warfighting Exercise
24 July 2015
The variety of roles and experiences whilst working in the Navy has always been a big draw for Lieutenant Commander Fiona Evans.
In late June, she and the crew of replenishment tanker HMNZS ENDEAVOUR were in Southeast Asia for a multi-national military exercise. For most of July, they were in Northern Australia to take part in that country’s largest warfighting exercise.
“A career in the Navy means taking on a variety of challenges. Every day is different and every three years or so, your job is different,” said the former Head Girl of Palmerston North Girls’ High School.
ENDEAVOUR worked with the support task force for the maritime warfare part of Exercise Talisman Sabre 2015, the largest warfighting exercise that the Australian Defence Force conducts with the US military.
Talisman Sabre is a biennial land, sea and air military training exercise that involved almost 30,000 troops from Australia, the US, New Zealand and Japan, 21 ships including HMNZS ENDEAVOUR, Navy frigate HMNZS TE KAHA and the US Navy aircraft carrier GEORGE WASHINGTON, more than 200 aircraft and three submarines.
“The exercise is predominantly operations-based so it is the operations trades that are involved the most with the daily tasks,” said LT CDR Evans. As ENDEAVOUR’s Supply Officer, she is responsible for all logistic requirements, supply and demand of stores requisitions, catering, finance and administration.
LT CDR Evans and her twin sister LT CDR Sarah Smith, who is a Weapons Engineer in the Navy, joined the Service straight from high school.
“I saw the Navy as an opportunity to learn a little bit more about what makes me tick and the basic training component was a personal challenge which I viewed as similar to completing a ‘gap year’,” she said.
Her most memorable deployment to date is a five-month trip to Australia and North Asia on board TE KAHA in 2007.
“The opportunity to visit China, Japan and Malaysia as an 18-year-old was an incredible experience,” she recalled. “But my most rewarding role so far has been providing leadership and professional development training for sailors and officers at all levels of the organisation.”
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