Leading Seaman Bowden The former Byford resident, recently spoke with Comment News while aboard the frigate HMAS Toowoomba in the Persian Gulf.
As part of Operation Slipper, LS Bowden, a coxswain, oversees those ‘driving’ as the crew conducts anti-piracy, narcotic and terrorism patrols in the region, constantly on the lookout for signs of illegal activity on other vessels.
When they see these, the atmosphere changes quickly.
‘The boarding party will get dressed in bulletproof vests, helmets and with 9mm pistols, and go across and search,’ she said.
‘We all tend to get a little bit excited, because if feels as though we are out here doing the right thing, making the world better.’
LS Bowden said the deployment, which left Perth in December, had so far been a quiet one, with relatively few boardings.
Limited stops for ‘sightseeing, shopping ‘