Four decades of continuous service in any profession is an achievement and for Royal Australian Navy Clearance Diver Lieutenant Commander Michael Gough, it has been an honour.
Lieutenant Commander Gough is rounding out his successful career on the ADF’s Operation Manitou in the Middle East supporting the multi-national Combined Maritime Forces, embedded with the US Naval Forces Central Command Task Force 52.
“I am supporting the command and control of all Coalition mine warfare assets in the Middle East,” Lieutenant Commander Gough said.
“I never wanted to do anything else as a vocation. The Navy offered me opportunities that I would never have experienced in any civilian job.”
Lieutenant Commander Gough said he witnessed much change in clearance diving and mine countermeasure technology during his career.
“There are quantum changes that have occurred in mine warfare and the clearance diving community that include moving from manned systems to unmanned autonomous systems,” he said.
“It has been remarkable to have not only witnessed it but to also have been a part of it.”
Since joining the Navy in January 1980, the Federation Star recipient also deployed on numerous Australian maritime operations.
“I have been very privileged to be able to serve, undertaking border protection on operations Relex, Cranberry, Relex II and Resolute,” Lieutenant Commander Gough said.
“It is a highlight of any career to be able to take your skills and apply them as part of an Australian operation and share your knowledge for a greater cause.”
Lieutenant Commander Gough will return from the Middle East to his new home on the Sunshine Coast where he will enjoy retirement with his wife.
“I plan to maintain a keen involvement with the RAN Clearance Diving Association and [sail training ship] Young Endeavour as a reserve crew member,” he said.
Throughout his career Lieutenant Commander Gough has served in a number of Her Majesty’s Australian Ships, including Albatross, Assail I, Coonawarra, Creswell, Curlew, Gawler, Labuan, Launceston II, Leeuwin, Melbourne II, Parramatta III, Penguin, Perth II, Watson, and STS Young Endeavour.
He has also posted in Charge of the Royal Australian Navy Diving School and enjoyed Command of Labuan, Launceston II, Australian Clearance Diving Team One, Hunter Two Crew and Young Endeavour (twice).