Photo Caption: 0002- Leading Seaman Combat Specialist Beau Milner
2 June 2011
Offshore Patrol Vessel HMNZS OTAGO is visiting Rarotonga for the first time in its history from Thursday 2 June 2011. While the ships company are looking forward to visiting the island, there are two sailors in particular that are excited; they are coming home.
Leading Stores Assistant (LSA) Noel Hirovaana and Leading Seaman Combat Specialist (LSCS) Beau Milner both have family ties to the region.
LSA Hirovaana was born in Rarotonga before moving to New Zealand with his family. He then returned for a year before joining the Navy. He has been in the Navy for 5 years and the last time he was back in Rarotonga was in 2008. This is the first time he has been to Rarotonga where his transport has been his workplace.
“To be honest, it’s a bit weird returning to Rarotonga with the Navy, because I will be mixing work with a place that is very special to me”, said, LSA Hirovaana.
The port visit to Rarotonga is very important to LSA Beau Milner as his parents live on Aitutaki. Like LSA Hirovaana, it is the first time to the Cook Islands on a naval ship.
“I see this as a pretty good opportunity, to show my family the professional side of my life as a Leading Seaman Combat Specialist, onboard an Off Shore Patrol Vessel.”
LSCS Milner joined the Navy nine years ago and says that his career has been a good opportunity to see the world and be apart of a great team.
While in port, HMNZS OTAGO will be open to the public on Saturday 3 June 2011 from 1230 pm to 3pm. The Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Commander Simon Rooke warmly invites the public to have a look around OTAGO and meet the friendly ships company.
The Royal New Zealand Navy’s first Offshore Patrol Vessel, HMNZS OTAGO, has spent the past 3 weeks in the Pacific undertaking maritime security tasks, fisheries patrols, and supporting diplomatic tasks.
Concurrent to the diplomatic tasks, OTAGO has been conducting warm weather trials to confirm the ships capability to tolerate and operate in Pacific waters and higher temperatures. The ship has visited Raoul Island, Tonga, Samoa twice and the Tokelau Islands before its visit to Rarotonga then continues onto Niue.