From the Shire to the South China Sea

The first international deployment for HMAS Stalwart gave a junior Navy officer from the Sutherland Shire the opportunity to visit Japan, Singapore, East Timor and the Philippines.

CAPTION: Sub-Lieutenant Breannan McMahon in HMAS Stalwart. Story by Lieutenant Brendan Trembath. Photo by Chief Petty Officer Aaron Robinson.

Sub-Lieutenant Breannan McMahon said she was honoured to lead a ceremonial guard after the ship sailed into Manila Bay, in the Philippines.

“The performance was well received and we were lucky to have shown many international attendees their first ceremonial sunset,” Sub-Lieutenant McMahon said.

During the traditional Navy ceremony, the Royal Australian Navy flag, the Australian white ensign, was lowered at sunset.

Sub-Lieutenant McMahon brought the guard to attention and a volley of blank rounds was fired.

Stalwart is an auxiliary oiler replenishment ship, which supplies fuel, food, water, spare parts and ammunition to ships sailing around the region.

As an assistant maritime logistics officer, Sub-Lieutenant McMahon helps facilitate the replenishments at sea.

In November, Stalwart replenished its biggest ship so far – a US Navy aircraft carrier – in the North Pacific Ocean.

“Being a part of a replenishment at sea with USS Ronald Reagan was a stand-out for me,” Sub-Lieutenant McMahon said.

Stores were transferred to the carrier by heavy jackstay and a US Navy helicopter, which operated for hours as flight deck teams on both ships loaded and unloaded more than 20 pallets of food.

Sub-Lieutenant McMahon is based at Fleet Base West in Western Australia, where Stalwart is based, but is looking forward to going back to the Sutherland Shire.

“I am looking forward to morning swims in Gymea Bay baths and spending time with my younger siblings fishing off the jetty at my parents’ house,” Sub-Lieutenant McMahon said.

She attended Gymea Technology High School and was active in local sporting clubs, including Jannali Netball Club, United Gymea Football Club and Bosco/Engadine Oztag Club.

Her fondest memories are playing Oztag after school at Kareela Oval and swimming at Cronulla Beach during summer holidays.





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