At sea: Able Seaman Aviation Technician Aircraft Kurt Rigney conducts checks on the S-70B-2 Sea Hawk on HMAS Warramunga.
At sea: Able Seaman Aviation Technician Aircraft Kurt Rigney conducts checks on the S-70B-2 Sea Hawk on HMAS Warramunga.

Assignment in Hawaii a bonus

IT’S been a while since Warwick’s Kurt Rigney, 24, swapped his black and white Water Rats Rugby Union jersey for Navy whites. He has just finished a month-long deployment to Hawaii as part of Exercise RIMPAC, the largest maritime exercise in the Pacific.

The Assumption College graduate began his life in uniform four and-a-half years ago at the Navy’s recruit school, HMAS Cerberus near Melbourne.

He then followed 14 months of specialist training at the RAAF Wagga and now Kurt is a qualified aviation technician. He has specialised in airframes and engines.

“My job is primarily operational and deeper level maintenance,” Kurt said. “I also work as part of the flight deck team.

“I’m a vibration analyst for the maintenance test flying. I run the analysis equipment in the aircraft that has come out of maintenance.”

Exercise RIMPAC is Kurt’s first overseas deployment. He is one of 1200 Defence personnel participating in the exercise, conducted in the waters around Pearl Harbour.

“I love the travel I get to do and the different people and places I get to experience. I enjoy the people I work with.

“I’ve already been loads of places in Australia but this is my first trip overseas in the Navy.

“When we get back I’ll visit the friends and family and try and relax for a bit before I get back into work.

“For the short-term, I am looking for promotion to Leading Seaman, but in the long-term we’ll have to see what the future holds!”

Exercise RIMPAC tests interoperability with 14 Pacific Rim nations, including the United States, South Korea, Indonesia and Canada which ran through to August 1.



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