A lot of work goes in to making sure a deployed network is up and running, but for Able Seaman Akshay Gomez-Jackson, keeping the lines of communication open is a challenge he delivers on.
CAPTION: Australian Navy’s Able Seaman Akshay Gomez-Jackson, a network technician from HMAS Stirling, deployed on Operation Accordion. Story and photo by Corporal Melina Young.
Usually posted to HMAS Stirling, Able Seaman Gomez-Jackson was keen to jump ship and into a position to support communications on Operation Accordion after hearing great first-hand stories from a fellow sailor.
“He said it was one of the best experiences in his life, and he met some really cool people to hang out with,” Able Seaman Gomez-Jackson said.
“I’m enjoying working with a small group of people, unlike on a ship where there’s over 100 personnel; it will be nice to make connections in a small working environment.”
His role involves creating user accounts and monitoring servers to make sure each performs its function.
He also manages software and ensures personnel have correct network access with no downtime in connectivity.
Able Seaman Gomez-Jackson said his job at the Australian main base in the Middle East was similar to his role as a communications information systems sailor at sea.
“You have a network on a ship and you have to make sure the server is always up and running so people have connectivity throughout and to back home to maintain capability and operations,” he said.
Long before he was old enough to join the Navy, Able Seaman Gomez-Jackson knew working with computers was the ideal career path.
“I had a pretty good knowledge of computers and how they worked, and felt that communications was very important, so at 22 years old I joined the Navy,” Able Seaman Gomez-Jackson said.
A standout in his career was attending an end-of-RIMPAC (Exercise Rim of the Pacific) function on the USS Abraham Lincoln.
“I got to interact with other navies, and go on the jet lift up to the flight deck and walk around; it was really good experience,” he said.
Able Seaman Gomez-Jackson said he was looking forward to a dip in the Aussie ocean when he returned home.
“It will be a lovely way to cool down after being in the desert, closely followed by a home-cooked meal with my family,” he said.