12 June 2012
20120531_PH_M1032159_0006 Able Seaman Combat Specialist Sloan Paniani ready to take up the next challenge at Exercise Rim of the Pacific
Before joining the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) Sloan Paniani had not travelled much outside of his home town Hastings. This week however Able Seaman Combat Specialist Paniani is on his way to Hawaii and Guam onboard the Navy’s fuel and replenishment tanker HMNZS ENDEAVOUR.
ENDEAVOUR and the frigate HMNZS TE KAHA are on their way to the world’s largest naval exercise, Rim of the Pacific. Exercise Rim of the Pacific will involve working with the defence forces of 22 countries, a total of 25,000 personnel, 42 ships, six submarines, and over 200 aircraft. The Navy ships will be joined by the Operational Diving Team and the Mine Counter Measures Team, a Rifle Platoon from 1 Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment, a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K Orion, and a number of headquarters staff.
For Sloan this will add to his extensive list of countries visited since he joined in 2007. Tonga, Samoa, Rarotonga, Australia and Antarctica complete the varied list of nations the Navy has taken him to in his time. "I joined the Navy because I looked up to my older cousin who was in, but I also knew that this would be a good opportunity for me to travel the world whilst doing something I enjoy."
Earlier this year Sloan was awarded a Commanding Officers Commendation as ENDEAVOUR’s Sailor of the Quarter, an award bestowed upon those who perform above and beyond their normal work requirements. For Sloan it was his outstanding leadership while the ship was being evaluated in war-like scenarios that saw him receive his award.
"He was always ready to step into the breach and deal with any incident," says his Commanding Officer, Commander Keith Robb, regarding Sloan’s efforts during simulated fire fighting and damage control situations. "He was always prepared to re-enter a compartment, having just been relieved from another situation, and fight on to win the battle before him."
Now, as Able Seaman Combat Specialist Paniani sails towards Hawaii he reflects on his career choice. "I totally recommend others to join the Navy as it is a good way to get away from home, learn new skills, meet a lot of people and make new friends. You also travel the world, as I am doing now, and get mean meals served to you three times a day!"
For more information contact Lieutenant Commander Ange Barker, Senior Communications and Media Advisor – Navy on 021 244 0638