Friday, January 21, 2011


Moonta Bay fisherman Des Fuss is the SA captain of the over-sixties cricket team, and his talent runs in the family. His son Gary, 43, is now the captain of the Australian Defence Forces cricket team.
Warrant Officer Gary Fuss at sea
Warrant Officer Gary Fuss
But cricket isn’t on either man’s mind so much at the moment. Just before New Year’s Eve, Gary headed off for a maritime security patrol of the Gulf of Aden.
Gary and his 190 shipmates aboard HMAS Stuart won’t be home until the middle of 2011.
“Years ago I could have chosen a sporting career,” said Gary, “But I loved the ocean and always wanted to be in the Navy — even when I was a kid I was running around in Navy jumpers.”
Now Gary is the ship’s Warrant Officer — the senior sailor aboard his ship — and a vital link between the Captain and the crew.
“I’m the people’s voice,” said Gary, “A bit like the Regimental Sergeant Major in an Army battalion.”
HMAS Stuart is an ANZAC class frigate. Its formidable armament includes a 5-inch gun, Harpoon anti-ship missiles, self-defence missiles, torpedoes and a Sea Hawk helicopter for long-range work.
It’s certainly not Gary’s first overseas deployment. Last year he was part of a Navy flotilla that travelled right round the world.
“That was the best yet,” said Gary. “I love being at sea. Every day is different. The only places I haven’t been now are Russia and France.

“But this Gulf trip will get me my first Australian Active Service Medal — a good addition to the 26 other medals I’ve already got.
“My wife Lynda will be home with our five kids — our youngest will be four in January and I’ve missed every birthday but one so far.
“So when I come back we’re going to take a month off and do something together — maybe even take a cruise, so long as it’s a ship I don’t have to do any work on.”

Related tags .....


Post a Comment