It’s not often that an ADF member spends the day flying over some of the most famous sights in the Mediterranean, but for Royal Australian Air Force Corporal Mathan Sundaramoorthy it is just another day in the office.
CAPTION: Royal Australian Air Force Corporal Mathan Sundaramoorthy works at his station on board a P-8A Poseidon aircraft during a maritime security mission while deployed on Operation Sea Guardian in Sicily. Story by Lieutenant Anthony Martin. Photo by Corporal John Solomon.
Joining the RAAF from Dandenong in Victoria four years ago, Corporal Sundaramoorthy is an airborne electronic analyst on the P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft.
He is a member of Adelaide-based 11 Squadron from 92 Wing, and as a member of the aircraft crew, he operates radar equipment and surveillance systems.
Together with a 60-strong contingent, Corporal Sundaramoorthy is currently deployed to Naval Air Station Sigonella in Sicily.
The contingent is taking part in Operation Sea Guardian, an ongoing non-Article 5 NATO maritime security operation aimed at maintaining maritime situational awareness, deterring and countering terrorism, and building capacity in the Mediterranean region.
This is Corporal Sundaramoorthy’s first visit to Italy, and he is enjoying the sights and soaking up the culture.
“The people are lovely and the food is wonderful. This is a terrific opportunity,” he said.
The RAAF contingent have maintained a busy schedule with their patrols.
This is Corporal Sundaramoorthy’s third maritime patrol deployment in P-8s and one he says he will never forget.
“This trip differs from previous patrols – I have never seen such busy sea and air traffic in our region,” Corporal Sundaramoorthy said.
“The Mediterranean is hectic and keeps us on our toes.”
This is the first time an Australian P-8A Poseidon has operated in the region, marking the return of Australian maritime patrol aircraft to the area after nearly 80 years.