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19 Feb 2020 Our February Navy Hero is:
Captain Hector ‘Hec’ MacDonald Laws Waller DSC & Bar RAN

Hector Macdonald Laws (Hec) Waller was born on 4 April 1900 at Benalla, Victoria, the youngest of ten children of William Frederick Waller, storekeeper, and his wife Helen, née Duncan.  Hec was educated at the Benalla Higher Elementary School and was appointed as a cadet midshipman in the Royal Australian Navy in early 1914.  He entered the RAN College, Osborne House, Geelong (relocated at Jervis Bay, Federal Capital Territory, in 1915).  Chief Cadet Captain in his final year, he was awarded the King’s Gold Medal on graduating in 1917.  On 1 January 1918 he was promoted Midshipman.  Full story on our Heroes page.....
18 Feb 2020 Australian Invictus Games 2020 team announced
Assistant Defence Minister, the Hon Alex Hawke MP today announced in Sydney the combined Australian Defence Force, Returned Services League and Veteran Sport Australia team that will represent Australia at the 2020 Invictus Games.  32 current and former serving military members have been selected to represent Australia at the games to be held in The Hague, the Netherlands from 9 to 16 May 2020.  More.....
18 Feb 2020 US Navy expands Indo-Pacific presence with expeditionary strike group
The Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group and the America Expeditionary Strike Group joined forces to conduct Expeditionary Strike Force operations in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific.  Ships and aircraft from the US Navy, as well as aircraft from the US Marine Corps, conducted a multitude of joint, high-end warfighting exercises while forward-deployed to the US 7th Fleet area of operations.  More.....
17 Feb 2020 Bang for buck: Offsetting sub program costs and building the fleet we need
With continued concerns regarding the multibillion-dollar Attack Class submarine program raising further questions about the program, could buying a foreign-built, modified “off-the-shelf” design enable Australia to build the fleet it needs to ensure national security while supporting the naval shipbuilding plan?  More.....
17 Feb 2020 USS Arizona survivor Donald Stratton dies at 97
Donald Stratton, a sailor who survived the Dec. 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor with serious burns but returned to the war and later devoted his years to honoring the terrible sacrifice of his shipmates, died peacefully in his sleep Saturday, according to his social media profile.  He was 97 and passed away in his Colorado Springs, Colorado, home surrounded by his wife of nearly seven decades, Velma, and his son, Randy, a Facebook post stated.  More.....
17 Feb 2020 Navy begins first major exercise for 2020
Four warships left Sydney today to begin the sea phase of the Royal Australian Navy’s first major exercise for the year, Fleet Certification Period 2020 (FCP20).  From 17 February to 6 March, HMA Ships Hobart, Stuart, Arunta and Sirius will war game in the vicinity of Bass Strait with five other Australian ships and submarines.  More.....
16 Feb 2020 Defence Force Recruiting National Submarine Tour
15 Feb 2020 Australia's Future Submarine Program
Joint Ministerial statement

  * Florence Parly, Minister of Defence of the French Republic
Today we have reviewed the implementation of the Strategic Partnering Agreement that underpins Australia’s Future Submarine Program. Both of us reaffirmed our full commitment to the program, in particular with respect to schedule and Australian Industry Capability.  More..... 
14 Feb 2020 HMAS Watson ready for redevelopment
Major redevelopment works are about to commence at HMAS Watson, Navy’s principal warfare and navigation training establishment.  The role of HMAS Watson, as the home of Training Authority Maritime Warfare, is to prepare officers and sailors of the Royal Australian Navy to be able to fight and win at sea.  More.....
14 Feb 2020 US Navy takes delivery of its 21st littoral combat ship
The US Navy has taken delivery of the future Independence-class littoral combat ship USS Kansas City (LCS 22) at the Austal USA’s shipyard in Mobile, Alabama.  Kansas City is the 21st LCS delivered to the navy and the 11th Independence variant to join the fleet.  More.....
14 Feb 2020 Veterans to be counted on 2021 Census
The Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) will be able to locate and help more veterans under a plan to include a new question in the 2021 Census.  The Federal Government expects to have better data to help guide services and support for Australia’s veterans, with a specific question asking whether someone has served in the Australian Defence Force (ADF).  More..... 
14 Feb 2020 Community organisations supporting veteran health and wellbeing
More than $825,000 in community grants for grass-roots programs to improve the health and wellbeing of veterans and their families around Australia were today announced.  Minister for Veterans and Defence Personnel Darren Chester said the Veteran and Community Grants (V&CG) provide funding for activities and services within local veteran communities to help maintain the mental and physical health of our veterans and their families.   More..... 
13 Feb 2020 USS Normandy Seizes Illegal Weapons in Arabian Sea
On Feb. 9, USS Normandy (CG 60), while conducting maritime security operations in the U.S. Central Command area of operations, boarded a dhow in accordance with international law and discovered a large cache of weapons.  The weapons seized include 150 "Dehlavieh" anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM), Iranian-manufactured copies of Russian Kornet ATGMs.  More.....
13 Feb 2020 Joint Statement with Naval Group - Australian industry involvement in the Attack Class Submarine Program
Sovereign control over the Attack Class Submarine fleet and maximising Australian industry involvement throughout all phases of the Attack Class Submarine Program are contracted objectives in the Strategic Partnering Agreement between Defence and Naval Group.  Defence remains focused on these objectives and Naval Group is committed to their achievement.  More.....
13 Feb 2020 Honouring our National Servicemen
Tomorrow, 14 February, is National Servicemen’s Day, a day where we honour those who have served our nation through compulsory military service.  Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Minister for Defence Personnel Darren Chester said it is important to remember these men who put their lives on the line in the service of our country in times of significant need.  More.....
12 Feb 2020 Navy confirms Anzac Midlife Capability Assurance Program on track
Director General of Major Surface Ships Commodore Rob Elliott recently paid a visit to HMAS Anzac to check on the progress of the latest Anzac Class frigate to undergo its Anzac Midlife Capability Assurance Program (AMCAP) at Henderson Shipyard, Western Australia.  Accompanied by the Anzac Ship’s Program Office Director, Gary Watson, and the Alliance General Manager, Russell Parker, CDRE Elliott toured the upgraded communications centre, operations room and galley.  More.....
12 Feb 2020 Improving maritime safety with South West Pacific partners
Shaping strategic policy in the fields of hydrography, nautical charting and related navigational safety is the focus of the South West Pacific Hydrographic Commission Meeting, held in Wollongong from 12-14 February 2020.  Members of the South West Pacific Hydrographic Commission work together to improve maritime safety through hydrographic capacity building and forging strong connections as a maritime community.  More.....
12 Feb 2020

Naval Historical Society of Australia (Victorian Chapter)
President's February Musings are now available to download.....
12 Feb 2020 As China expands navy, US begins stockpiling ship-killing missiles
The stunning growth of the Chinese fleet over the past decade has prompted the U.S. Navy to plan a full-on buying spree of ship-killing missiles over the next five years, according to projections in the sea service’s Fiscal Year 2021 budget documents.  In his opening remarks before rolling out the Navy’s new spending request, the service’s budget director pointed directly at China’s expanding naval force as aiding U.S. budget priorities.  More.....
12 Feb 2020 Saab Australia delivering ‘Next Generation’ Combat Management System to Navy
In another major milestone for the Morrison Government’s Naval Shipbuilding Plan, Defence has signed an Enterprise Partnering Agreement with Saab Australia to deliver their ‘Next Generation’ Combat Management System.  The agreement forms part of the Morrison Government’s multi-billion dollar strategic enterprise approach to naval combat systems.  More.....
12 Feb 2020 ADF bonds with Mallacoota community forged by fire
10 Feb 2020 ADF bond with Mallacoota community forged by fire
The unveiling of a plaque in the heart of Mallacoota will become a strong symbol of the close bond between the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and local community forged during the devastating 2019-2020 bushfires.  Members of HMAS Choules’ ship’s company involved in the two January evacuations totalling almost 1,400 residents were flown by the ship’s embarked MRH-90 helicopter to Mallacoota to meet with community members and witness the unveiling of the plaque.  More.....
09 Feb 2020 Defence Force Retirement Benefits
Any NVN readers interested in assisting the ‘ADF Retirees Association’ in their campaign to improve superannuation benefits for retired Defence personnel under both DFRDB & MSBS, go to the Association’s website at https://www.adfra.org/
08 Feb 2020 HMAS Toowoomba arrives in the Middle East to commence operations
HMAS Toowoomba and her ship’s company of around 190 personnel have arrived in Bahrain and commenced operations in the Middle East under Operation MANITOU on 31 January.  The Anzac class frigate will also support the International Maritime Security Construct in its mission to ensure freedom of navigation through the Strait of Hormuz and continue Australia’s longstanding effort with the Combined Maritime Forces.  More.....
07 Feb 2020 ADSO Welcomes Appointment of an Independent Commissioner into Veterans Suicides
There have been many inquiries and studies into the suicide among Veterans and their mental health and wellbeing.  The 2016 Senate FADT Committee Inquiry “The Constant Battle: Suicide by Veterans” has become the benchmark or trigger for action by the Government.  Out of that Inquiry have been positive initiatives such as a new Veteran Mental Health Strategy and a National Action Plan on Veterans’ mental health, wellbeing and suicide prevention.  More.....
07 Feb 2020 CNO Hosts Chief of Royal Australian Navy for Counterpart Visit
Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Mike Gilday hosted Chief of Royal Australian Navy Vice Adm. Michael Noonan for a formal counterpart visit, Feb. 6-7.  During the two-day visit that included a full honors ceremony and discussions between the Australian delegation and senior U.S. Navy leadership, the two leaders focused on expanding and strengthening maritime security, particularly in the Indo-Pacific region.  More.....
07 Feb 2020 Top end farewells personnel ahead of Middle East deployment
Friends and family of more than 200 Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel about to deploy to the Middle East said their goodbyes during a parade at Robertson Barracks in Darwin.  The ADF contingent will perform roles in communications, logistics and force protection.  More.....
07 Feb 2020 Supporting at-risk veterans transitioning to civilian life
Programs supporting younger at-risk veterans and veterans transitioning to civilian employment are set to expand to hundreds more people as part of a significant funding boost from the Morrison Government.  An extra 170 young and vulnerable veterans leaving the Australian Defence Force annually will get guidance and a single point of contact with 10 additional case coordinators backed by a $4.8 million investment in the Coordinated Client Support program that already helps around 1,200 veterans facing difficult circumstances.  More.....
05 Feb 2020 Powerful new body to tackle ADF and veteran suicides
A powerful, new independent body will be created to investigate all suspected veteran and Australian Defence Force (ADF) suicides and causes to help save lives. The Morrison Government will establish a permanent National Commissioner for Defence and Veteran Suicide Prevention.  The National Commissioner will have the enduring power, scope and resources to investigate suicides and related issues as they arise, rather than being restricted by a one-off review looking at past practices.  More.....
04 Feb 2020

Navy League of Australia(Vic-Tas Div)
February newsletter is now available to download..... 
04 Feb 2020 Competition winners get a taste of submarine life
A group of young Australians were given the VIP treatment recently when they participated in the National Submarine Competition Tour and Immersion Experience at Fleet Base West.  The competition, which was open to people aged between the ages of 18 and 35, saw more than 1800 Australians compete for the chance to see what it takes to be a submariner.  More.....
04 Feb 2020 Flags on Navajo Nation lowered to honor deceased Code Talker
Flags on the Navajo Nation will be lowered Monday to honor a revered Navajo Code Talker who died in New Mexico last week.  Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez said in a statement that all flags will fly at half-staff as a tribute to Joe Vandever Sr. through Thursday.  Vandever died Friday of health complications in Haystack, according to his family.  He was 96.  More.....
04 Feb 2020 Destroyer wrecked in deadly 2017 accident returns to sea
The U.S. Navy destroyer Fitzgerald, which was badly damaged in a 2017 collision off Japan that claimed the lives of seven sailors, is underway for its first significant at-sea time since arriving at Ingalls Shipbuilding two years ago.  The ship will get a full shakedown of its navigation, mechanical, electrical, propulsion, communications and combat systems to verify it is ready to rejoin the fleet, according to a release from Naval Sea Systems Command.
03 Feb 2020 Australian Austal can now bid for US Navy support deals
Austal’s shipyards and service centers in Australia have been approved to bid for and provide support services, including ship repairs, maintenance and sustainment activity for US Navy and Military Sealift Command (MSC) ships.  The announcement comes after the Australian shipbuilder signed an agreement of boat repair (ABR) with the navy.  More.....
03 Feb 2020 Indonesian support to bushfire response
The Australian Government is deeply grateful to Indonesia for their commitment to send over 30 military engineers to support Australia’s bushfire response.  As the impact of the bushfires continues to be felt across Australia, the Australian Defence Force has deployed significant resources to support the bushfire response and recovery effort.  More.....
03 Feb 2020 HMAS Parramatta departs for South East Asia deployment
The Royal Australian Navy Anzac-Class frigate HMAS Parramatta today departed Fleet Base East in Sydney for a four-month deployment to South East Asia.  Parramatta will participate in several major military exercises to enhance interoperability and build practical cooperation with Navy partners including India, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam.  More.....
03 Feb 2020 Defence families welcomed to new postings across Australia
AUSTRALIAN Defence Force (ADF) members and their families have been welcomed to new posting locations across the country, with a series of events over the weekend including Welcome to Katherine and Welcome to HMAS Cerberus over the weekend.  The Minister for Veterans and Defence Personnel, Darren Chester said Defence’s Welcome events are a great opportunity for our military families to meet each other and get to know their local area, especially if they have recently posted to a new location.  More.....
02 Feb 2020 Howzat! Toowoomba plays Australia Day cricket classic in India
En route to Operation MANITOU in the Middle East region, HMAS Toowoomba took advantage of a logistics stop in Mumbai to play a cricket match against the Cricket Club of India (CCI) on Australia Day.  On a hazy morning without a whiff of breeze, CCI won the coin toss and elected to bat.  The home side’s opening batsmen immediately took a long handle to Toowoomba’s bowling attack.  More.....
01 Feb 2020 With laser weapons coming, the US Navy’s newest super carrier has space and power to spare
The U.S. Navy is desperately trying to get away from shooting down anti-ship missiles with other missiles, and the carrier Gerald R. Ford could prove useful in the pursuit of alternatives.  A major difference with Ford over its Nimitz-class predecessors is its twin A1B nuclear reactors that produce more than three times the electrical power of the reactors on Nimitz:  More than 100 megawatts.  More.....
01 Feb 2020 Commandos raid alongside Norwegian stealth ship in the Arctic
Royal Marines raided the Arctic coastline and secured a vital landing point for supply lines working alongside a Norwegian stealth missile ship.  The exercise in the fjords of northern Norway saw marines of Plymouth-based 47 Commando, the small boat raiding specialists of 3 Commando Brigade, work closely with Norwegian counterparts and their stealth corvette.  More.....
01 Feb 2020 Increasing Defence’s role in disaster response is essential but costly
Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s National Press Club address on Wednesday foreshadowed a major role for the Australian Defence Force in responding to natural disasters.  From Operation Sovereign Borders to the Pacific ‘step-up’, the Department of Defence has long been Morrison’s go-to agency when the government needs fast responses to difficult problems.  More.....
01 Feb 2020 Policy, Guns and Money: The role of gender advisers in the ADF
01 Feb 2020 FlyBy
A periodical of the Fleet Air Arm Association of Australia.
February issue.....
01 Feb 2020 14,000 Young Australians sail in Young Endeavour
The 14,000th young Australian to embark in Sailing Training Ship Young Endeavour has completed his 11-day voyage aboard the square-rigged tall ship.  Commander Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Jonathan Mead, AM acknowledged the achievement and congratulated 16 year old Matthew Shelverton, of Hobart, Tasmania.  More.....
01 Feb 2020 Replacements for medals lost or destroyed in bushfires
Medals that have been lost or damaged in the fires across Australia may be replaced under the Defence Honours and Awards Replacement Medal Policy.  Minister for Veterans and Defence Personnel, Darren Chester said while there was a long road ahead for communities recovering from the bushfires, replacing lost medals was a small step towards recovery.  More.....
31 Jan 2020 ADF Continued Support under Operation BUSHFIRE ASSIST
The Australian Defence Force (ADF) is continuing support to State and Territory agencies and local communities under Operation Bushfire Assist 19-20.  Three Joint Task Forces have been established to facilitate ADF support to emergency services in Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia.
29 Jan 2020 Navy conducts year’s first FONOP in South China Sea
When the U.S. Navy’s littoral combat ship Montgomery on Saturday skirted a disputed island in the South China Sea, Beijing scrambled two armed fighter-bomber jets and “expelled it” from the area, the state-run media reported.  Montgomery’s “freedom of navigation operation” was the first Navy FONOP this year in the South China Sea.  The sea service conducts FONOPs to reemphasize that it’s an international byway, open to all shipping.  More.....
29 Jan 2020 Reassessing Australia’s defence policy (part 1): What is the ADF for?
Four years have now passed since the release of the 2016 defence white paper, the most recent comprehensive review of Australia’s defence policy and capability.  The main contours of that document were set down as early as 2014, which was arguably too early to take full account of the geostrategic implications of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and China’s island-building in the South China Sea.  More.....
28 Jan 2020 Jets fly from British carrier for the first time in 10 years in UK waters
British F-35B Lightning jets have flown from the decks of HMS Queen Elizabeth in UK waters, the first time fighter jets have operated from a British carrier in home waters in a decade.  HMS Queen Elizabeth is in the North Sea, conducting Carrier Qualification for Royal Navy and Royal Air Force pilots from the UK Lightning Force, based out of RAF Marham in Norfolk.  More.....
28 Jan 2020 Orroral Valley Bushfire Update
Defence can confirm that the fire currently burning in the Orroral Valley in the Namadgi National Park was likely caused by a landing light from an Army MRH-90 helicopter, while the aircraft was on the ground.  The helicopter and crew were conducting aerial reconnaissance and ground clearance to enable access for emergency services personnel who were conducting bushfire prevention measures in the ACT.  More.....
28 Jan 2020 Day sailing on James Craig
As part of Williamstown Seaport Festival 2020, Tall Ship James Craig is re-visiting us from Sydney.
Enjoy a day’s sailing (2 or 11 March only) with her crew on Port Phillip in the company of like-minded people. Discover the wonder of square-rig sailing on this restored 1874 historic ship.

Location: Workshops Pier, Seaworks Maritime Precinct, Nelson Place, Williamstown.
Boarding: 10:15am
Departs: 11am sharp
Returns: 4:00pm approx
Day Sail Ticket: $130.00 per person (BYO food)

The booking link is the first item on the “tallshipsvictoria.org” site.
28 Jan 2020 Salute to Australia 2020 - HMAS Canberra
HMAS Canberra played a starring role in Sydney’s Australia Day activities as the centrepiece of the traditional Salute to Australia in Sydney Harbour.
26 Jan 2020 United States Bushfire Support
The Australian Government is deeply grateful for the ongoing support of the United States to Australia’s bushfire response.  The Government also offers to the American people Australia’s deepest condolences, following the death of three brave US firefighters on 23 January 2020.  Building on the support already provided, Australia today welcomed the arrival of two five-person cargo load teams from the 36th Contingency Response Group of the United States Air Force.  More.....
26 Jan 2020
Click here to download the January edition of "BROADSIDE".....

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Information of Interest

Request for Committal of Ashes to the Sea.  Download form.....


Current Repatriation Benefits for Gold Card Veterans -
As of 01 January 2018
This is a list of products that are available on a Doctor's prescription for Gold Card Repatriation Patients.  Download the list.....


DVA Mobile Apps

The new Operation Life mobile application is designed to help those at risk deal with suicidal thoughts and is recommended to be used with the support of a clinician.

The High Res (High Resilience) app helps you manage stress, build resilience and optimise performance on the go.

The PTSD Coach Australia app can help you learn about and manage symptoms that commonly occur after trauma.

ON TRACK with the Right Mix mobile app from the Department of Veterans Affairs helps you to keep track of the number and types of drinks you consume; the amount of money it's costing you and lets you know about the impact the alcohol has on your wellbeing and fitness levels.


Guide to the assessment of rates of veterans’ pensions
Guide to the assessment of rates of veterans’ pensions (GARP) is used to assess the extent of incapacity from war caused or defence caused injury or disease for the purposes of determining the rate of pension.  Download.....


Planning ahead kit

Overview: Planning Ahead is a publication designed to help veterans and their families prepare for bereavement.  There is also a checklist that can be used to record the contact details of important people, businesses and organisations that may need to be notified in case of your death.  Download.....


DVA Concessions Fact Sheets
Factsheet CON01 - Concessions in NSW
Factsheet CON02 - Concessions in Vic
Factsheet CON03 - Concessions in QLD
Factsheet CON04 - Concessions in SA
Factsheet CON05 - Concessions in WA
Factsheet CON06 - Concessions in Tas
Factsheet CON07 - Concessions in NT
Factsheet CON08 - Concessions in ACT


War Service


Check your ship's eligibility for war service.....