The marine engineering department of HMAS Ballarat received praise for its work maintaining the ship’s systems while deployed to the Indian Ocean.

Deputy Marine Engineering Officer Lieutenant Alex Goddard in complimenting the team said the global pandemic and subsequent restrictions on port visits made the work even more challenging, though ultimately rewarding. 

“The inability to receive external support challenged the team to rectify defects themselves, which benefited their professional development,” Lieutenant Goddard said.

It was the first deployment for some of Ballarat’s sailors. 

Seaman Marine Technician Chloe La Sala said the sea time was an opportunity to further her training. 

“Being at sea makes it a lot easier to learn,” Seaman La Sala said. 

“Tasks become easier to understand. I have learnt so many new skills during the deployment.” 

The Indian Ocean deployment is an opportunity to enhance Australia's maritime capabilities and build interoperability with close regional partners.

It demonstrates Australia’s enduring commitment to the security, stability and prosperity of the region, and increases the capability and interoperability of the Australian Defence Force.