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Auckland Grammar School Old Boy In Warfighting Exercise

24 July 2015

A day spent at Devonport Naval Base five years ago clinched Sub-Lieutenant (SLT) Ethan Moser’s choice of career.
“Devonport showcases the values that characterise life in the Navy – courage, commitment and comradeship. After only one day, I was hooked,” said the former Prefect at Auckland Grammar School.

SLT Moser is a Bridge Watchkeeper of replenishment tanker HMNZS ENDEAVOUR, which 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 the Navy frigate HMNZS TE KAHA and the US Navy aircraft carrier GEORGE WASHINGTON, more than 200 aircraft and three submarines.

“During the exercise, a typical day for ENDEAVOUR consists of patrolling a designated area in Northern Australia. This specific segment of water is cordoned off as a type of support area where support ships from the US and Australia also patrol, waiting to rendezvous with ships that are fighting the ‘war’. We spend most of our time in company with the Australian tanker HMAS SIRIUS,” said SLT Moser.

“To keep everyone on their toes, we conduct daily internal training for damage control, which includes firefighting, dealing with toxic gas and flood control exercises. We maintain the highest degree of readiness to respond to any requests for fuel by having our replenishment rig at 30 minutes notice to provide replenishment at sea.”

SLT Moser, who recently finished his Bachelor of Commerce degree at the University of Auckland with a full scholarship from the Navy, said Talisman Sabre offered him “an exciting training opportunity”.

“Exposure to an exercise like this and observing the military interoperability between several countries is hugely beneficial in helping improve my skills of navigating in a tactical environment,” he said.

As a Bridge Watchkeeper, he monitors the safety of navigation and helps ensure collisions are avoided. He also helps organise future port visits and plan navigation tracks for future voyages.

Since joining the Navy as a midshipman in 2011, his most memorable deployment to date is an exchange trip to the Japanese training ship KASHIMA. “On board, I met and befriended other junior officers from all over the world. The experience of immersing myself in another country’s culture, the opportunity to travel to different places and to say that this is part of my job is really amazing,” SLT Moser said.

“If you are an adventurous person who loves to travel and are up for a challenge, a life in the Navy would definitely suit you. The Navy provides you with the opportunity to develop your leadership skills, travel around the world and gain a whole new set of friends as well as a stable and well-paid job,” he added.


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