01 April 2016
Helping out in cyclone-ravaged Fiji is one of four operations on which 20-year-old Midshipman (MID) Alicia Upjohn has been deployed while serving in the Royal New Zealand Navy.
She is currently on the Offshore Patrol Vessel HMNZS Wellington, which delivered some 60 tonnes of aid supplies and carried out a variety of tasks in the early stages of the disaster relief efforts in Fiji.
MID Upjohn, who attended Pakuranga College, says the highlight of her career so far is being able to visit other countries and getting involved with the local communities.
“I joined the Navy because it has good job opportunities. It is something that I’m passionate about, especially being on the ocean and helping people,” she said.
Her role as a bridge watchkeeper sees her monitoring the manoeuvring and navigation of the ship.
“It is a great career choice. You learn valuable life skills such as leadership and working in a team. You are given heaps of opportunities and are able to participate in activities that you normally wouldn’t get in a civilian job. The people are friendly and treat you like family.”
Close to 500 combat engineers, soldiers, sailors and aircrew have been deployed to Fiji, making it one of NZDF’s largest peacetime deployments to the Pacific.
For more information contact Defence Public Affairs: 021 487 980