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Latest News for our Navy Network

Download the March edition of our newsletter BROADSIDE
 
  20 April
Passing of foreign aid bill signals step forward for AUKUS nuclear submarine deal
The passing of the foreign aid package through the US House of Representatives also signals a step forward for the AUKUS nuclear submarine deal.  The funding package included the ‘Indo-Pacific Security Supplemental’.  It means the lower house has now approved a $US3.3 billion spend to match what Australia is putting in to help expand submarine construction in the United States.  “It will turbocharge AUKUS with real capital and match the Australian government’s commitment to invest $3 billion into the US industrial base,” Democrat Congressman Joe Courtney said.  More.....
20 April
Merchant Navy veteran honoured
In February 1943, 16-year-old Don Kennedy from Manly, NSW, jumped on board the Norwegian tanker MT Seirstad and cruised out of Sydney Harbour.  It was the start of a short but perilous career in the Merchant Navy. He spent the first 17 months at sea helping transport oil and fuel to allied tanks, ships and planes fighting in World War 2 (WW2).  After being promoted to assistant gunner, then gunner, Mr Kennedy left the ship and later joined the US Army Transport Corps ship, USAT Point San Pedro, on route to New Guinea, providing ammunition and provisions for Australian forces.  More.....
20 April
Family history motivates Defence service
A booby trap detonated and collapsed the Bapaume town hall in France on March 25, 1917, killing Lance Corporal Jules Schuller and 23 other people.  Two years earlier, Lance Corporal Schuller survived a gunshot wound at Gallipoli before re-joining the 20th Infantry Battalion in France.  The time-delayed device was left behind by German troops retreating from Bapaume eight days before.  Germans destroyed many of the other buildings before leaving, but left the town hall standing, hoping it would likely be used as a unit headquarters.  More.....
19 April
Three Australian officers posted to US Virginia class submarines
The Royal Australian Navy officers completed the US Navy’s 15-month nuclear submarine training program, and will now be assigned to Viriginia class submarines based at Pearl Harbour.  The trio spent the last two months learning alongside sailors from the US Navy on the fundamentals of operating nuclear powered submarines, Defence has confirmed.  It is expected that the number of Australian sailors training in the US will increase to 100 over the next year.  More.....
18 April
Funding injection to boost Navy capability
Conventionally armed, nuclear‑powered submarines and infrastructure will receive $53 billion to $63 billion over the next decade as part of Australia’s investment in developing a Navy with enhanced maritime, air and land strike capability.  This is one of the commitments in the newly released 2024 Integrated Investment Program, which sets out spending priorities that will be central to the National Defence approach outlined in the National Defence Strategy.  More.....
National Defence Strategy 2024
The government has released the inaugural National Defence Strategy and 2024 Integrated Investment Program.

18 April
Anduril’s Aussie drone sub ‘one year early and on budget,’ heads to production
In a bright spot for Australian defense procurement, an important domestic defense program, the first Ghost Shark autonomous submarine prototype, has come in early and on budget.  “The first prototype was delivered one year early and on budget, and all three will be delivered by June 2025. So, from conception to full realization, less than three years,” an upbeat Pat Conroy, minister for defense industry, told reporters here in Sydney’s main naval base.  Clearly demonstrating the government’s confidence in the program’s progress, Conroy said it will move directly from prototype to production.  More.....
18 April
A child thought he’d found a rock — it was actually a Marine’s jawbone
A human jawbone discovered in the Arizona desert was recently identified as remains of U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Everett Leland Yager.  The issue?  No one knew it was missing.  The 30-year-old World War II veteran was killed in July 1951 during a military training exercise over the skies of Riverside County, California. His remains were returned to his family and he was buried in his home state of Missouri.  More.....
17 April
Navy, senators argue over who is to blame for a too-small fleet
The size of the U.S. Navy’s fleet and the debate over how to increase it took center stage at a Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee hearing Tuesday.  In particular, senators expressed concern after a recent study found multiple important shipbuilding programs are running years behind schedule.  The delays come “despite unprecedented support by Congress. Headlines and delays like this should constitute a full-blown emergency for the Navy and the shipbuilding industry,” Subcommittee chairman Jon Tester, D-Montana, told Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro.  More.....
17 April
Defence strategy homes in on Australia's greatest risks
The Australian Government has released the inaugural National Defence Strategy (NDS) and 2024 Integrated Investment Program (IIP).  As set out in the 2023 Defence Strategic Review, the current strategic environment demands a new approach to defending Australia and its national interests.  This approach is based on the concept of National Defence.  The NDS articulates the Government’s adoption of a Strategy of Denial, which aims at deterring conflict before it begins.  More.....
16 April
Navy is down $1B in munitions from ops in Red Sea, says SECNAV
Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro today told lawmakers his service is out at least $1 billion in critical munitions because of recent operations in the Middle East, a shortfall the Pentagon is banking on a congressional supplemental to help replenish.  “We currently have approaching $1 billion in munitions that we need to replenish at some point in time,” Del Toro told the Senate Appropriations subcommittee on defense.  More.....
16 April
After shooting down Iranian munitions, Jordan defiant in uncomfortable spotlight
The king of Jordan today defended his military’s actions over the weekend in apparently intercepting some of the Iranian missiles and drones that overflew Jordanian airspace on their way to targets in Israel, saying his lands will not be a “theater of war” for any side.  The security of the nation, and the protection of its citizens, comes above all other considerations, King Abdullah II said, according to Jordan’s state news agency.  More.....
16 April
Training for the skies
723 Squadron is the ADF’s joint helicopter training school. It is here that Navy and Army students learn to become helicopter pilots, aviation warfare officers and aircrewmen.

16 April
AUKUS sub design deemed ‘mature’ as nations debate top technologies
The new attack submarine design the United Kingdom and Australia will share through the AUKUS trilateral arrangement is in a “mature” state and will be finalized in the next year or two, leaders said this month.  The third phase of the AUKUS submarine deal centers around Australia and the U.K designing, building and operating their own SSN-AUKUS attack subs, which will leverage American technology.  More.....
15 April
Anduril, South Korean shipbuilder HD Hyundai announce new partnership for autonomous systems
Venture capital-backed US defense contractor Anduril Industries and top South Korean shipbuilder HD Hyundai Heavy Industries have announced a strategic partnership focused on designing and producing autonomous naval systems.  More.....
13 April
Navy, Coast Guard rescue men who spelled out ‘HELP’ with palm fronds
Three men stranded on an uninhabited Pacific island survived for more than a week and used palm fronds to spell out “HELP” on the beach, leading to their rescue by Navy and Coast Guard aviators who spotted the sign from several thousand feet in the air.  They had embarked March 31 in a 20-foot boat with an outboard motor from Pulawat Atoll, a small island with about an estimated 1,000 inhabitants in the Federated States of Micronesia about 1,800 miles (3,000 kilometers) east of the Philippines.  More.....
13 April
US, Japan, S Korea hold drills in disputed sea as Biden hosts leaders
A U.S. carrier strike group led by the USS Theodore Roosevelt has held a two-day joint exercise with its allies Japan and South Korea as U.S. President Joe Biden met for talks with leaders from Japan and the Philippines at the White House.  The military and diplomatic maneuvers are meant to strengthen the partners’ solidarity in the face of what they see as China’s aggressive military actions in the region.  A number of U.S. and South Korean guided missile destroyers and a Japanese warship joined the drills in the disputed East China Sea, where worries about China’s territorial claims are rising.  More.....
13 April
British Navy ships to carry drone-zapping lasers by 2027
British naval vessels are set to receive new laser weapons within a few years’ time that will make shooting down a missile or a drone as affordable as a pint of ale in central London.  The technology goes by the name of DragonFire, developed by MBDA in conjunction with Leonardo UK and QinetiQ. Conceived over three years, defense leaders in London are celebrating it as a poster child of recent defense-acquisition reforms aimed at fielding technology breakthroughs to U.K. forces more quickly.  More.....
11 April
Aussie PM must improve AUKUS explanation for public, reassess US relations, experts warn
Australia’s government must provide a more thorough and public explanation of why it has committed to the AUKUS plan to buy nuclear powered submarines and reassess how it and the United States manage their alliance, top experts on US-Australian defense tie said at a conference this week.  “The prime minister needs to come and give a speech about AUKUS that is definitive on the strategic rationale that doesn’t mention jobs once, because it’s not about jobs.  More.....
11 April
Last Gallipoli warships hosts ANZAC Day service to honour Commonwealth dead
You can join Australian and New Zealand military personnel on the most sacred day in their calendar with a unique ANZAC Day commemoration in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.  Personnel from the two Commonwealth states’ armed forces have been invited to mark Thursday April 25 with a service on board the sole surviving ship from the campaign which gave birth to the ANZAC legend.  More.....
11 April
Two Ukrainian Navy ships to be temporarily based in Portsmouth
Two former Royal Navy ships now serving with the Ukrainian Navy will be a frequent sight in the waters off the South Coast as they operate from their new temporary home in Portsmouth Naval Base.  The Sandown-class minehunters, formerly HMS Shoreham and HMS Grimsby, now renamed Cherkasy and Chernihiv after being transferred to Ukraine last year, arrived in Portsmouth following a two-day voyage from Scotland.  More.....
11 April
Galley gets a facelift
HMAS Coonawarra recently embarked on a voyage of transformation – an initiative aimed at optimising key areas, notably the galley and junior sailors’ and other ranks’ (JSOR) mess.  With the support of funding through Navy Logistics and Navy Support Force HQ, the JSOR’s mess received a $2.1 million ‘refresh’ in record time, with a dual focus on operational efficacy and wellbeing.  Commanding Officer Coonawarra Captain David Shirvington that said following an electrical fire in 2022 at the other ranks’ mess, significant work was required in Coonawarra to quickly identify a space that met the dining and recreational needs of our sailors.  More.....
11 April
NSW Health leaders tour ship medical facilities
A group of senior medical administrators and specialists from five major NSW hospitals recently participated in an insightful clinical tour on board HMAS Adelaide.  The unique visit, led by the Maritime Operational Health Unit (MOHU), offered health leaders an inside look into the advanced medical facilities supporting Navy personnel, and highlighted the strong collaborative partnerships between military medical teams and NSW Health.  Officer in charge MOHU Commander Steven Grosser said the tour was organised to give Navy’s civilian colleagues a first-hand view into the complex medical operations conducted at sea.  More.....
10 April
AUKUS Partners Working Through Reality of Submarine Pact, Officials Say
According to the commander of U.S. submarine forces, the Australian-United Kingdom-United States agreement means “more subs forward” to deter Chinese territorial ambitions in the Indo-Pacific.  Speaking Monday at the Navy League 2024 Sea-Air-Space exposition, Vice Adm. Robert Goucher didn’t see the agreement leading to a drop in the availability of long-range, nuclear-powered submarines required in those waters when the allies’ numbers are counted in addition to the United States.  More.....
10 April
Royal Navy joins Fiji to keep Pacific fish thieves at bay
Royal Navy patrol ship HMS Tamar joined forces with authorities in Fiji and the Royal New Zealand Navy to help tackle illegal fishing in the South Pacific.  The warship – on a long-term deployment to the region with her sister HMS Spey – scoured Fijian waters on the lookout for illicit activity.  Experts reckon illegal fishing deprives Pacific nations of more than £200m every year – as well as eroding stocks, impacting livelihoods and communities reliant on the ocean for both their food and incomes.  More.....
10 April
US Pacific boss ‘very concerned’ about Chinese aggression in region
The head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command said on Tuesday that he was “very, very concerned” about China’s aggression toward Philippine forces near disputed islands in the South China Sea.  The Chinese coast guard has repeatedly clashed with Philippine patrol vessels near the Philippines-occupied Second Thomas Shoal.  Last month, several Filipino seamen were injured when a Chinese vessel sideswiped a smaller Philippine vessel and another two Chinese coast guard ships used high-pressure water spray to shatter the Philippine vessel’s windscreen.  More.....
10 April
Veteran Employment Campaign Launches
A national campaign is being launched today to share the benefits of employing ex-service personnel in the civilian workplace.  The Australian Defence Force is an incredible training ground for personnel, but when they leave service, many report having difficulty translating their skills from the ADF to the civilian workplace.  Ex-service personnel can bring skills like leadership, teamwork, agility and the ability to work under pressure to the civilian workplace, no matter the industry.  More.....
09 April
Crew of HMAS Yarra open their doors
HMAS Yarra (IV) recently marked 21 years of service since its commissioning on 1 March 2003 and continues to provide service as one of four Huon-class Minehunters Coastal (MHC) vessels.

09 April
Australian government bungles future frigate choices
On February 20 the Australian government finally released its blueprint for the non-submarine part of the RAN, entitled Enhanced Lethality Surface Fleet. The document claimed that the number of surface combatants will be substantially increased to 26 platforms – eventually.  Currently the RAN operates three Air Warfare Destroyers and eight Anzac frigates, with two of the latter soon to retire.  The number of Hunter-class frigates – due to be delivered from 2032 – has been reduced from nine to six and central to the growth of the future fleet is the rapid acquisition of up to 11 General Purpose Frigates.  More.....
09 April
Clearance divers put to the test
The robot’s video feed showed an innocuous-looking cardboard box, but from intelligence gathered, Chief Petty Officer Thomas Buchanan knew it was time to put on a bomb suit.  Earlier that day, the Mine Warfare and Clearance Diving Task Group headquarters tasked clearance diving elements to clear a wharf in preparation for ships coming alongside.  But with disgruntled locals and an insurgency capable of making improvised explosive devices (IED), suspicions were high.  More.....
09 April
Vice Admiral David Johnston will lead Australia's armed forces as chief of the defence force
On his appointment Vice Admiral Johnston said, "I am very conscious of the responsibility that comes with the role, the strategic environment in which we face ourselves, and most particularly the responsibility I have to the extraordinary men and women in the Australian Defence Force and the families who support them."  More.....
08 April
Career lights a spark for sailor
With undersea technology moving towards robotic and autonomous systems, it’s an exciting time to be in mine warfare, according to Able Seaman Grayden Ash.  The autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) operator put his skills to the test during Exercise Dugong, using sonar data from the Bluefin-9 and -12 systems to search and identify mine threats.  Mine warfare sailors interpret the data to identify potential mine-like contacts, and improved sonar quality makes it easier for operators to identify mines.  More.....
07 April
Albanese Government boosts key projects at HMAS Stirling
The Albanese Government is investing over $83 million to deliver vital Defence infrastructure upgrades at HMAS Stirling in Western Australia.  Ensuring the Australian Defence Force has fit-for-purpose facilities and infrastructure is critical for its capability and preparedness.  This investment will span across 32 projects at Stirling, including remediation and maintenance of the Parkes Wharf, tunnel maintenance and building refurbishments.  More.....
07 April
U.S., Japanese and Australian Warships Join Philippine Forces in South China Sea Patrol
Six warships and four aircraft from Australia, Japan, the Philippines, and the United States conducted a joint patrol in the South China Sea on Sunday following Chinese harassment of Philippine Navy resupply missions in the region.  Officially dubbed the Australia – Japan – Philippines – United States Maritime Cooperative Activity, these joint patrols began last November in response to violent incidents between Manila and Beijing in the South China Sea, particularly around Scarborough Shoal and the resupply missions to BRP Sierra Madre (LT-57) at Second Thomas Shoal.  More.....
05 April
Nations combine on mine warfare activity
The Royal Australian Navy has laid sea mines for the first time in nearly 50 years during Exercise Dugong 24.  The mine warfare and clearance diving activity, from March 4-22, was designed to test a combined force from Australia, New Zealand and the US against a realistic mine threat.  Prior to the exercise, inert mines were laid in the approaches to Eden, one of the largest fishing ports in New South Wales.  More.....
05 April
Balancing learning and yearning
In the quiet Torres Strait shadows, where the sun paints stories on coral reefs, Leading Seaman Edmund Tomsana found himself torn between a love of his ancestral home and mysterious attraction of city life.  Born on the island of Moa, north of Thursday Island, Leading Seaman Tomsana moved to Townsville to finish high school.  After finishing school, he moved even further from home and joined the Royal Australian Navy as a boatswain's mate. Now, after 10 years away from his island home, Leading Seaman Tomsana said his desire to return has become greater than ever.  More.....
April
OUR APRIL HERO
Vice Admiral Sir Henry Mackay BURRELL KBE CB MiD

Vice Admiral Burrell shares with Vice Admiral Creswell a sense of strategic vision for Australia and its Navy. Although he commanded two successive destroyers in WWII, it was perhaps his first major shore appointment in America that sparked his breadth of understanding and vision for the role and future of the Royal Australian Navy. He understood more than most, acknowledging it often, the debt the RAN owes to its Royal Navy heritage. Yet when it was necessary he steered the acquisition of new ships to American models, with consequent benefits for his country. Resolute in fighting for what he perceived as right, he fought hard – and succeeded – in getting a 1959 decision to disband the Fleet Air Arm reversed. He has been described as one of the first "dinkum Aussie" Admirals, and remains one of the most influential Flag Officers in the RAN’s history.

Vice Admiral Sir Henry Mackay Burrell, KBE, CB, was a senior Commander in the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). He served as Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS) from 1959 to 1962. Born in the Blue Mountains, Burrell entered the Royal Australian Naval College in 1918 as a 13-year-old cadet. His first posting at sea was aboard the cruiser HMAS Sydney. During the 1920s and 1930s, Burrell served for several years on exchange with the Royal Navy, specialising as a Navigator. During World War II, he filled a key liaison post with the US Navy, and later saw action as Commander of the destroyer HMAS Norman, earning a Mention in Despatches.  Continue reading this fascinating life story.....
04 April04 April
Defence scientists tackle underwater communication
Communicating underwater is no easy feat – and the process becomes even more complex when the communication needs to be secure.  In the underwater domain, radio signals don’t transmit far, optical sensors only travel efficiently for about 50m and underwater acoustics suffer from noise, interference, echoes and delays in transmission.  A program set up by the United Kingdom’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), and supported by scientists from Australia’s Defence Science and Technology Group (DSTG), aims to address this problem.  More.....
04 April
Exchanges strengthen Australia-Thai relations
Relations between Australia and Thailand were enhanced through a port visit by Anzac-class frigate HMAS Warramunga.  Warramunga visited the Royal Thai Naval Base at Sattahip, near Pattaya City, south of Bangkok for a six-day visit as part of a three-month Indo-Pacific regional presence deployment.  The ship and crew were warmly welcomed on arrival at Sattahip Naval Base by Captain Thongchai Khamaphan of the Royal Thai Navy, accompanied by Australian Defence Attaché Group Captain Ritchie Cunningham.  More.....
03 April
Sailor of the Year Program

03 April
US Navy ship programs face years-long delays amid labor, supply woes
Several of the U.S. Navy’s top shipbuilding programs are running one year to three years behind schedule, as the service and the industrial base grapple with workforce and management challenges.  Navy leaders conducted a 45-day review of its shipbuilding portfolio, following news in January that a first-of-class guided-missile frigate was behind schedule due in part to a workforce shortage at Fincantieri’s Marinette Marine shipyard in Wisconsin.  More.....
03 April
Continuing Commitment to Veteran Employment
As the hearings for the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide conclude, the Albanese Government remains focused on supporting veterans’ transition to civilian life.  One of the key factors to having a successful transition is finding fulfilling civilian work post service.  The Australian Government is renewing the Veteran Employment Commitment asking civilian organisations to more clearly demonstrate how they are supporting veterans in the workplace.  More.....
02 April
Chinese Warships, Russian Intelligence Ships Sailing Near Japanese Waters
People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) ships have been sailing through the waters between Taiwan and Japan over the past week, along with Chinese surveillance aircraft and an unmanned aerial vehicle flying near Japan, according to Japan’s Joint Staff Office (JSO).  A Russian surveillance ship has been sailing off the coast of Japan during the same period, the JSO also reported.  More.....
02 April
Last survivor of USS Arizona dies at 102
The sole survivor serving aboard the USS Arizona during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor has died.  Lou Conter, one of the last living ties to that date of infamy, passed away this morning at his home in Grass, Valley, California, Pacific Historic Parks confirmed.  He was 102.  Starting his shift as quartermaster at 7:45 a.m. on Dec. 7, 1941, Conter had barely rubbed the sleep from his eyes when the Japanese assault began a mere three minutes later.  At exactly 8:09 a.m., the hull of the USS Arizona was struck by a 1,760-pound Japanese armor-piercing bomb.  More.....
BROADSIDE - March 2024 Edition
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DIARY OF EVENTS
(What's happening around Victoria)
Please refer to our Calendar
for full details of the coming
events listed below.

05-08 Apr – 0800 – HMAS Canberra visit – Outer east Station Pier (Not open to visitors or tour groups)

09-Apr – 11:00 – HMAS Vampire Service – Shrine

15-Apr – 1900 – Naval Historical Society meeting, Waverley RSL

17-Apr – 14:00 & 19:00 – Soundwaves Concert – HMAS Cerberus cinema complex

25-Apr – 06:00 - Anzac Day Dawn Service

25-Apr – 08:30 – Anzac Day March

03 May – 12:30 - HMAS Castlemaine service – Shrine Sanctuary

05-May – 12:00 – Battle of Coral Sea Service – Shrine Cenotaph




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