7 January 2014
Brothers reunited after four years: SLT Troy Gorden RNZN (left), from Rotorua, who is serving on HMNZS TE MANA, and his brother CPOAVS Justin Gorden from HMAS MELBOURNE are reunited onboard HMNZS TE MANA.
It was an ANZAC rendezvous with a difference when New Zealand and Australian frigates HMNZS TE MANA and HMAS MELBOURNE met up recently in the Arabian Sea, where both warships are currently deployed until February 2014.
The two frigates are both assigned to Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) task forces. HMZNS TE MANA is conducting counter-piracy operations for Combined Task Force 151 (CTF-151) off the coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden.
The CMF is a multi-national naval partnership which exists to promote maritime security, stability, and prosperity in an area of international strategic significance.
HMNZS TE MANA was deployed to the area of operations late last year as part of the New Zealand Government’s commitment to provide military assets in support of the CMF’s maritime security efforts. Three Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) sailors are serving as a boat’s crew on HMAS MELBOURNE, which is deployed by the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) to the same area of operations.
The meeting at sea enabled the Kiwis on HMAS MELBOURNE to spend the day on HMNZS TE MANA, the nearest thing to home soil, with their RNZN family, to a flurry of hugs and tears from their New Zealand shipmates.
Another family reunion took place at the same time. Sub-Lieutenant (SLT) Troy Gorden RNZN was reunited with his older brother, Chief Petty Officer Avionics Technician (CPOAVS) Justin Gorden, who is serving in the RAN aboard HMAS MELBOURNE. It was their first meeting for four years.
"Justin was the reason I joined the Navy in the first place," SLT Gorden said.
"After so long not seeing each other it was an amazing chance to see my big brother at sea on a deployment, a classic example of how small this world can be!"
The seamless meeting on the high seas during an operational deployment was evidence of the close ties between both nations, and is also testament to the close bonds that are forged within the Navy family as the 182 personnel on HMNZS TE MANA work together at sea to maintain maritime security.
For more information or interview requests, please contact NZDF Senior Media Advisor Geoff Davies on 021 806 926.