Aussie Cricketers visit HMAS Toowoomba in the Middle East
9 October 2014
Aussie cricketers had a small taste of life in the Navy on Wednesday, visiting the Royal Australian Navy's frigate HMAS Toowoomba in Dubai.
The Australian cricket team is in town for Twenty20 and One Day International matches against Pakistan and was invited to a function at the ship which is in port for a maintenance period during her six month deployment to the Middle East Region (MER) as part of Joint Task Force 633 (JTF633) under Operation MANITOU.
Commanding Officer of HMAS Toowoomba, Commander (CMDR) Cath Hayes, hosted the team onboard, along with a number of distinguished guests including the Australian Ambassador to the UAE, His Excellency Mr Pablo Kang, and the Commander JTF633, Major General Craig Orme.
"The Australian cricket team and Toowoomba have a lot of similarities," CMDR Hayes said.
"We're both teams who train very hard at what we do, we prepare thoroughly to represent our country at home and overseas,"
"We are proud individuals who want to showcase what we can do as individuals and as a team; we want to make Australia proud; and we want to represent our nation on the international stage to the best of our ability," CMDR Hayes said.
While on board, the team were given a tour of the ship so they could see first hand how sailors lived and worked on an ANZAC Class Frigate.
Australian coach, Darren Lehmann, said it was a great chance to see the behind the scenes work that the crew does on a daily basis.
"For us it's great to see how it all works," said the coach.
"Obviously we don't know the ins and outs of it and we'd love to spend some more time, but it's good for us to get a little snapshot and insight of how it all works and how many people are on board."
The ship’s company were able to interact with the team, take photos and have gear signed before guests arrived for an Aussie themed cocktail party and a traditional Navy ceremony held at sunset.
CMDR Hayes said the crew was excited to show the team around.
"When we're at sea it's rather difficult to show people what goes on aboard the ship," she said.
"So when they get the opportunity, the crew enjoy giving a tour of the ship and showing what they do on a day-to-day basis.
"And they certainly loved doing that with the Australian cricket team."
HMAS Toowoomba is just one of the elements within the Joint Task Force 633 deployed in the MER and has around 200 crew.
Working to the Combined Maritime Forces, Toowoomba supports the campaign against terrorism, primarily through counter smuggling and counter piracy in the maritime security environment.