Members of HMAS Ballarat have taken their physical fitness commitment to another level by completing 155 laps around the flight deck - the number of laps equivalent to the frigate’s pennant number.

Leading Seaman Physical Training Instructor Jamie Lord said crew-initiated fitness challenges such as the “lapathon” provided an opportunity for the ship’s company to achieve goals as a team and created a sense of ownership for their fitness and wellbeing. 

“The creativity and motivation is fantastic to see and demonstrates a whole-ship effort to improve morale,” Leading Seaman Lord said.

“The attitude of the Ballarat crew is infectious with fitness classes every morning and afternoon, which keeps everyone motivated.

“Good fitness gives people confidence and by being fitter and healthier, our members remain an elite military force.”

Leading the challenge was Ballarat’s No. 816 Squadron Flight 3 embarked helicopter pilot Lieutenant Ben Flood, who said the team had a commitment to be fit to fight.

“Staying active at sea is even more important than on dry land,” Lieutenant Flood said.

“While we are all working hard to achieve the aims of our tasking, time in the gym and on the flight deck gives us a chance to rest our minds as well as push our physical limits.

“For the aircrew, in particular, staying fit helps us to manage the mental and physical demands of our busy flying schedule.

“As the frigate powers out into the Indian Ocean, every sailor knows the importance of preparedness and remaining in peak condition.

Ballarat is not just a fighting fit crew, but also a positive crew that genuinely enjoys working for each other.

“While 155 laps of Ballarat’s flight deck emphasised the ship’s fitness, the real highlight of the run was the teamwork and determination shown by those involved.” 

The ship has deployed to the Indian Ocean to participate in Exercise Malabar with key regional partners - India, Japan and the United States. 

During the exercise, the four participating navies will conduct a range of training and at-sea replenishment between ships.

Participation in Exercise Malabar demonstrates Australia’s enduring commitment to the security, stability and prosperity of the region and increases the capability and interoperability of the ADF.