Lieutenant Comander Jason O’Gorman reports:
A 25-year-old sailor originally from Two Wells is a vital cog in the wheel that keeps HMAS Darwin in fighting shape.
Able Seaman Electronics Technician, Daniel Hines, son of Peter and Angela Hines, is deployed with HMAS Darwin to the South East Asian Region as part of Operation Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2017 (IPE 17).
“My primary role is to maintain and operate Darwin’s 76mm gun, Surface Vessel Torpedo Tubes and missile Vertical Launching Systems,” Able Seaman Hines said.
“I also take part in other whole-ship evolutions such as replenishments at sea with our fuel tankers and damage control exercises to train for combating various scenarios such as fires and floods.”
Attending school at Trinity College in Gawler prior to joining the Navy, Able Seaman Hines led a very active sporting lifestyle.
“Growing up with my brother Timothy, we spent most of our teenage years battling it out in the backyard in various sports like cricket, AFL (we had a seven acre backyard) and sometimes even golf,” he said.
“One of my favourite memories was winning the A Grade AFL premiership for Two Wells in the Adelaide Plains competition.”
After joining the Navy in February 2013, Able Seaman Hines spent a lot of time in Victoria at HMAS Cerberus where he learned the core skills of an electronics technician.
“I did well enough to Dux my initial training course, then gained experience on the ANZAC Class frigates HMAS Parramatta and Warramunga,” he said.
“From there, I specialised in weapon systems and have progressively added to my skill-sets over the past two years.”
Able Seaman Hines still loves the opportunity to pull on a guernsey and play competitive sports where his fierce competitive spirit comes to the fore.
“I love my AFL and have been fortunate enough to play for both the Navy and Australian Defence Force teams since 2013,” he said.
In the few short years since joining the Navy, Able Seaman Hines has already built up a healthy repository of memories.
“I love being in the 76mm gun during shoots and training hard in all kinds of environments,” he said.
“Late last year Darwin was called on to provide assistance to the New Zealand township of Kaikoura after the earthquake.
“I went ashore with Darwin’s work parties and it was touching to see the gratitude of the people we were helping. It was a hugely rewarding experience.”
Able Seaman Hines is now deployed on IPE 17 as part of one of the largest RAN task group deployments since WWII.
“Working on operations like this really makes you feel like you are part of something much bigger,” he said.
“We are providing escort to HMAS Adelaide as she visits various Asian countries and shows off her substantial humanitarian assistance and disaster relief capability to our neighbours.”
When this operation is over, Able Seaman Hines is looking forward to spending time with the people who mean the most to him.
“I want to spend a lot of time with my fiancé Georgia post-deployment, and I look forward to planning our wedding in 2018,” he said.
“The support we get from friends and family cannot be underestimated and without Georgia’s support my time on HMAS Darwin would not have been as successful as it has.”
IPE 17 is an Australian Defence Force (ADF) Joint Task Group (JTG) deployment to the Indo-Pacific region, to be conducted from September to November 2017, focused on security cooperation, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief exercises.