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Read our December edition of our newsletter BROADSIDE
 December 2021

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28 December
Loss inspires return to Navy
Losing everything in the Black Summer bushfires inspired sailor-turned-maritime trade officer Lieutenant Rick Withers to return to Navy after an eight-year break.  “I thought about the Navy every day after I left. It shaped who I am,” Lieutenant Withers said.  “At a time when I had limited guidance, the Navy helped me become who I wanted to be.  “Serving let me see I can achieve anything with hard work and discipline.  “It gave me an edge only learned through confronting operations.”  In his first stint in Navy, he deployed on Operation Resolute as an electronic technician on HMA Ships Armidale and Bathurst.  More.....
23 December
Rank milestone celebrated
The 50th anniversary of the re-establishment of the rank of warrant officer in the Navy was marked with a ceremony held by the Keith Payne VC Veterans’ Benefit Group on December 17 in Nowra, NSW.  Along with members of the veterans’ group, Warrant Officer – Navy Deb Butterworth and 14 current serving warrant officers attended, in company with two of the original warrant officers.  On December 17, 1971, 87 chief petty officers across the Navy were promoted to the rank, bringing the Navy in line with the Army and Air Force.  Former warrant officer and president of the veterans’ group, Fred Campbell, officiated the event and said it was a special milestone in the Navy’s long and illustrious history.  More.....
22 December
German Navy Chief: Frigate Deployment to Indo-Pacific First of Biannual Deployments to Region
The current six-month-plus deployment of German frigate FGS Bayern (F217) to the Indo-Pacific is the initial step toward a regular biannual naval deployment to the region, German Navy Chief Vice Adm. Kay-Achim Schönbach said today.  During his speech at the International Institute of Strategic Studies’ 42nd Fullerton Lecture series in Singapore, Schönbach said Bayern’s deployment was to enable the German Navy to familiarize itself with the region, given its last presence here was 19 years ago.  More.....
22 December
Opportunities add up in Navy
As a child growing up on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, Sub Lieutenant Toia Mangakahia had a passion for travel and learning.  Joining Navy through the New Entry Officers' Course as a maritime warfare officer (MWO) submariner, Sub Lieutenant Mangakahia said she wasn’t completely sure what she was going for, but knew it was a job that would help her grow and develop her own capabilities.  “The MWO course is two years of incredible dedication. You have to memorise every word of the [Sea] Rules of the Road – all 41 of them – and their annexes,” Sub Lieutenant Mangakahia said.  More.....
22 December

Farewell to a faithful Navy provider - decommissioning of HMAS Sirius
Royal Australian Navy ship HMAS Sirius was farewelled in a ceremony at HMAS Stirling in Western Australia on 18 December 2021

20 December
Grants open for our veteran community
The 2021-22 rounds of the Veteran and Community Grants and Supporting Younger Veterans Grants are now open for applications.  Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel Andrew Gee said the grants deliver valuable funding to local community organisations providing activities and services that support the wellbeing of veterans and their families.  “Recent grant funding has gone to a wide variety of support programs including wellness weekends and care packages for Defence members, fishing and sporting activities and even off-road racing,” Minister Gee said.  “I recently had the opportunity to catch some waves with veterans from previous grant recipient, the Veteran Surf Project at Gerroa in New South Wales, and saw firsthand the truly remarkable positive impact it’s having for local veterans.  More.....
20 December
Dependable supply ship farewelled
HMAS Sirius was decommissioned from the Royal Australian Navy on December 18 after more than 15 years’ dedicated service providing fuel and stores to ships at sea.  The farewell ceremony at her home port, Fleet Base West, was attended by families and former crew members.  Sirius sailed more than 469,000 nautical miles and conducted more than 770 replenishments at sea during her service.  Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Mike Noonan said the ship and crew made a valuable contribution to Navy operations and exercises since being commissioned on September 16, 2006.  More.....
20 December
Rewarding careers launched
Hard work and dedication paid off for the 31 graduates of the Maritime Warfare Officer Course 07, who celebrated the completion of their training at HMAS Watson on December 10.  Two years of practical, theoretical preparation and assessments earned these officers their Bridge Warfare Certificates and their Maritime Warfare Officer (MWO) professional qualification.  Parade reviewing officer Commodore Training Commodore Charles Huxtable said the men and women completed training in the most challenging of times because of the COVID-19 pandemic.  “They have excelled and shown determination to get through an intense course and should be very proud of that achievement,” Commodore Huxtable said.  More.....
19 December
Growing a technologically-advanced country: Defence nuclear science and engineering scholarships
The Morrison Government is committed to building an Australian workforce with the necessary skills and capabilities to develop advanced technologies, drive innovation and meet the nation’s future defence and national security needs.  Minister for Defence the Hon Peter Dutton MP has announced the creation of more than 300 scholarships over the next five years to grow Australia’s nuclear science and engineering workforce.  “The delivery of at least eight nuclear-powered submarines will see thousands of jobs created across the country over the next few decades,” Minister Dutton said.  “We must ensure our people have the right skills and qualifications to support and deliver this once-in-a-generation endeavour that will bolster our national security and defence.”  More.....
17 December

Maybe This Christmas – Royal Australian Navy Band Christmas Video 2021
Throughout 2021, despite a challenging and constantly evolving environment brought on by the COVID19 pandemic, members of the Royal Australian Navy have served Australia with pride at sea and ashore, on military and domestic operations.  This Christmas, the Royal Australian Navy Band pays tribute to our Navy people and their families, who have shown such resilience, and exemplified service in the face of separation and uncertainty.  As our members are reunited with their families for the festive season, Maybe This Christmas sends a message of love and hope for 2022.  Merry Christmas to all.

17 December

HMA Ships Brisbane and Warramunga arrive home
HMA Ships Brisbane and Warramunga have returned to their respective home ports after conducting Navy-to-Navy activities in Southeast and Northeast Asia. These deployments supported the Australian Defence Force's ongoing regional presence in the Indo Pacific region.

17 December
First Arafura-class patrol boat launched
The first of 12 Arafura-class offshore patrol vessels - NUSHIP Arafura - was launched yesterday at the Osborne Naval Shipyard in South Australia.  First Assistant Secretary Ships Division, Sheryl Lutz, said the Arafura-class offshore patrol vessels were one of the foundational projects in the 2017 Naval Shipbuilding Plan.  “Luerssen Australia is contracted to build twelve offshore patrol vessels, two at Osborne Naval Shipyard in Western Australia and ten at Henderson Maritime Precinct in Western Australia.,” Ms Lutz said.  Building the first two OPVs in South Australia enabled experienced shipbuilders from the Hobart class destroyer to be retained and then transitioned to the new Hunter-class frigates, setting the foundation for a continuous sovereign naval shipbuilding industry.  More.....
17 December
New plaque honours Teddy Sheean VC
A new memorial plaque honouring Ordinary Seaman Edward “Teddy” Sheean VC was unveiled in Shropshire Park in the Tasmanian town of Ulverstone 79 years after his death.  Ordinary Seaman Sheean paid the ultimate sacrifice on December 1, 1942, while defending his HMAS Armidale I shipmates against enemy fighters during WWII.  Commanding Officer Navy Headquarters Tasmania Commander Andrew Wright represented Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Michael Noonan at the service to rededicate the memorial.  Commander Wright said Ordinary Seaman Sheean displayed incredible bravery in the action and was thoroughly deserving of Australia’s highest military honour.  More.....
14 December
Hearing Begins for Junior Sailor Charged in USS Bonhomme Richard Fire
Navy prosecutors will make their case to a military officer this week as to why a junior sailor should be court-martialed on charges that he deliberately set the 2020 fire that eventually gutted former USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6) and intentionally put others in danger at Naval Base San Diego.  Seaman Apprentice Ryan S. Mays is charged with willful hazarding of a vessel, a violation of Article 110 under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, in that he allegedly did “willfully and wrongfully hazard” to the amphibious assault ship “by setting a fire aboard the vessel” on July 12, 2020, according to a copy of the charge sheet released by U.S. 3rd Fleet officials.  He also is charged with aggravated arson, a violation of Article 126, in that “while serving as deck crewman aboard” Bonhomme Richard, he allegedly “willfully and maliciously set on fire, knowing that a human being was therein at the time,” the amphibious warship, according to the charge sheet.  More.....
14 December
Staying alive in the RAN surface fleet: failure is not an option
The threat spectrum for surface combatants—ships that can engage air, surface, subsurface and shore targets—is rapidly expanding and increasingly lethal. Threats include mines, torpedoes, cruise missiles, ballistic missiles and swarms of microdrones.  This article focuses on the missile threat, which is a serious concern, particularly given that terrorist groups have been known to use sophisticated anti-ship cruise missiles against warships.  The Royal Australian Navy’s future surface combatant fleet will be composed of Hobart-class destroyers and Hunter-class frigates.  The principal armament is the Mk-41 vertical launch system (VLS):  Hobarts have 48 cells and Hunters will have 32 cells.  Each cell carries one long-range weapon or four shorter-range weapons—see table below.  The secondary armament is the Mk-15 Phalanx gatling gun with an effective range of around 1.6 kilometres:  Hobarts have one and Hunters will have two.  This system is designed to ‘kill’ any missiles that leak through the ships’ air-defence umbrella.  More.....
14 December
Hats off to historic family find
A piece of family military history, uncovered during restoration works at a Brisbane railway station, has been returned to its rightful owners.  During the works at Shorncliffe train station, all construction was brought to a halt as a large collection of mid-20th century objects were discovered – including a long-lost sailor’s cap, dating from 1945-1950, unearthed during an archaeological dig.  Faded and tattered after being buried under the station master’s building, the cap was revealed to belong to Royal Australian Navy stoker Ernest “Gus” James Hodgess.  Senior Heritage Consultant Dr Xavier Carah, of Niche Environmental and Heritage, the company engaged for the heritage work, recognised instantly that it was a Royal Australian Navy hat, and found a way to make contact with the family.  “Often when you find personal items, it’s quite difficult to work out who it came from. Even with a name, it would be difficult to find the individual,” Dr Carah said.  More.....
14 December
Implementing Australia’s nuclear submarine program
On 16 September 2021, the Australian Government announced that it would acquire a nuclear-powered submarine capability with support from the UK and the US as the first measure of business under the AUKUS technology-sharing partnership.  At the same time, it announced that it had established a taskforce that would devote 18 months to determining the ‘optimal pathway’ to establishing this new capability.  The taskforce has its work cut out for it, and the signing of an initial nuclear information sharing agreement only two months after AUKUS was announced suggests things are moving fast.  Nevertheless, this new enterprise will be a massive undertaking and probably the largest and most complex endeavour Australia has embarked upon.  The challenges, costs and risks will be enormous.  It’s likely to be at least two decades and tens of billions of dollars in sunk costs before Australia has a useful nuclear-powered military capability.  More.....
14 December
Back to where a love of flying began
Royal Australian Navy pilot Lieutenant Josh Gorrie is no stranger to the Wings Over Illawarra airshow.  The local boy, from Gerringong, in NSW, has been to a few over the years but 2021 was a bit special as he flew his MRH-90 Taipan multi-role helicopter to the show, greeted by an enthusiastic crowd.  Lieutenant Gorrie, from 808 Squadron at HMAS Albatross, in Nowra, was delighted to showcase the MRH-90 and his passion for flying during last month's event.  "It really all began for me here at the Wings Over Illawarra airshow. Attending this event as a small child, seeing the displays, it was inspiring to see the aircraft and actually did inspire me to join the Royal Australian Navy after school to become a pilot," Lieutenant Gorrie said.  The role has been a long and fulfilling journey for Lieutenant Gorrie, who has great respect for the MRH-90 Taipan and its capability for the ADF.  More.....
10 December
MMHN December 2021 Update
MMHN is always alert to links to maritime heritage and finds that a parallel can be drawn between our pandemic predicament and those aboard the vessel Ticonderoga who were no doubt jubilant about surviving the long voyage south, only to be quarantined on arrival due to the persistent cases of scarlet fever and typhus. On-shore, the need for quarantine facilities became urgent and the government, in their wisdom, moved the quarantine ground from Point Ormond (Elwood) to Point Nepean, just inside the Heads, to be as far from Melbourne as possible. Having navigated a safe, though tiresome passage through Lockdown 6, we now face the festive season clouded by the prospect of navigating our way through the uncharted waters of the OMICRON variant!  Continued.....
13 December

HMAS Warramunga works with German frigate Bayern
HMAS Warramunga sailed in company with FGS Bayern where they practiced navy-to-navy skills in the waters of East Asia.  HMA Ships Warramunga and Brisbane had earlier worked alongside vessels from the United States, Japan, Canada, and FGS Bayern for ANNUALEX 2021 a bilateral training exercise, co-led by Japan and the United States since 1996.

10 December
The decline of American naval superiority, the National Defense Authorization Act 2022 and the re-emergence of navalism
With an ageing fleet and quantitative disadvantage against potential adversaries, the US has ceded its long held naval superiority.  Defence Connect analyses whether the National Defense Authorization Act 2022 can stem this decline, and whether the United States might see a resurgence in navalism.

State of play

Analysts the world over have warned of China’s growing naval superiority.  Indeed, pre-eminent analyses including those from the US Office of Naval Intelligence have acknowledged that China possesses not only a larger fleet of newer naval vessels, but also warns of a greater capacity for an immediate expansion in shipbuilding capabilities.  This latter point was evidence earlier this year when news reports revealed that China was able to commission three new warships in one day.  More.....
10 December
Dumping the ADF’s MRH-90 helicopters is the right call, but why now?
The sad saga of the MRH-90 Taipan helicopter has been running for a long time.  Back when I worked in the Department of Defence, we used to occupy ourselves from time to time calculating how much money the taxpayer would save in the long run if we just walked away from the MRH-90 utility helicopter and bought Black Hawk helicopters instead.  The answer was a lot.  And the sooner you did it, the more you’d save, by avoiding sinking more acquisition dollars into the MRH-90 and realising the substantially lower operating costs of the Black Hawk.  But even though those numbers were shared with Defence’s senior decision-makers, the department couldn’t bring itself to take that step.  More.....
10 December
Journey comes full circle
Lieutenant Commander Makaila Lasalo’s journey with Navy began when she was eight after her parents laid the anchor of their family-built yacht in Tonga.  It was here that she first stepped onto a visiting RAN warship.  Enamoured by the island nation, she stayed for four years with her parents who were teaching at the local schools.  The experience lit a spark for Lieutenant Commander Lasalo – a career and a lifestyle that would entice her back to Tonga 30 years later.  She’s now employed as the maritime surveillance adviser (MSA) embedded in the Tongan Royal Navy.  Lieutenant Commander Lasalo is responsible for assisting in the operation of Guardian-class patrol boats as well as Tonga’s landing craft.  More.....
10 December
Pilot clocks up milestone on deployment
A flight from HMAS Brisbane in the embarked MH-60R helicopter on December 3 wasn’t your average training serial for pilot Lieutenant Michael Wisniewski.  Brisbane is deployed on Regional Presence Deployment 2021-4 and the flight became a celebration as Lieutenant Wisniewski passed 2500 career flying hours.  Arriving back on board after completing the milestone, Flight 4 personnel presented Lieutenant Wisniewski with a cake and a round of applause.  Born in Poland, Lieutenant Wisniewski immigrated to Australia in 1989 and joined the Navy in 2005.  He had a successful career as a maritime aviation warfare officer (AvWO) before deciding to train as a pilot.  More.....
09 December
Home for the final time
It was a bittersweet moment for onlookers at Fleet Base West on December 2 when HMAS Sirius returned home.  Sirius was sailing into its home port for the final time before being decommissioned on December 18.  Sirius departed Fleet Base West on August 30 and, after 94 days away, was greeted with significant fanfare.  Two days earlier, the ship had picked up families from Albany and had taken the opportunity to show them what life at sea in the oiler was truly like.  Families who didn’t join the jolly lined up along the wharf to wave the ship in – carting ice-creams, coffees and banners created for the celebration.  More.....
08 December
New exchange opportunity
Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA) Commandant, Commodore Peter Leavy and Superintendent United States Naval Academy (USNA) Vice Admiral Sean Buck have signed a new Memorandum of Understanding to begin an exchange program for midshipmen.  The exchange program will involve six-month semester exchanges between the military academies in Canberra and Annapolis, Maryland.  Vice Admiral Buck emphasised the importance of the program in strengthening ties between the US and Australian militaries and developing cultural competence as a core enabler to future operational capability.  “The men and women of our militaries are going to serve together, and this agreement will allow them to develop the professional and personal relationships they will use throughout their career,” Vice Admiral Buck said.  More.....
08 December
80 Years Ago, the War came to the Pacific
Eighty years ago, on 8 December 1941, Australian Prime Minister John Curtin made a fateful announcement to the nation:  “men and women of Australia, we are at war with Japan”.  These historic words, following the devastating Japanese attacks on Pearl Harbour and Malaya, marked the first time Australia had declared war on another country as an independent nation.  Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel Andrew Gee said the declaration was a very significant moment for our country, our region and the world.  “The co-ordinated Japanese attacks on Southeast Asia meant the war would soon come within reach of Australia for the first time,” Minister Gee said.  “While Australians had been fighting throughout Europe, the Middle East and North Africa since 1939, the war in the Pacific began in earnest with the co-ordinated attacks on Malaya, the Philippines and Thailand.  Across the dateline on 7 December in Hawaii, the attack on Pearl Harbour had already occurred.  More.....
07 December
Preparing for spent nuclear fuel disposal
While the Commonwealth begins its 18-month review into the creation of a sovereign nuclear-powered submarine capability, former RAN officer and editor of the Nuclear Propulsion Roadmap for Australia Chris Skinner analyses the challenges of spent nuclear fuel disposal.  At the recent Winter Meeting and Technology Expo of the American Nuclear Society, ANS president Steve Nesbit said of radioactive nuclear waste disposal:  "The volume of material is small, proven methodologies exist for processing and disposal, yet with few exceptions, all countries have struggled with ultimate disposal of long-lived radioactive material."  In a similar manner the UK is working on its own solution to the geological disposal of radioactive waste material as reported by Radioactive Waste Management (RWM) on 3 December at its first national conference attracting 150 delegates.  The UK is following a nationwide process based on community consent, with progress achieved towards finding a willing community and suitable site for a deep geological disposal facility (GDF).  More.....
07 December
Commander Ian Maxwell 'Max' Speedy DSC RAN

Ian Maxwell (Max) Speedy was born in Levin, New Zealand, in 1944.  The family came to Australia in 1950 and Max saw all his schooling in and around Brisbane.  With average high school results, he was one of seven in the country to be selected for Observer training in 1961.

On 29th January, 1962, he arrived at HMAS CERBERUS to begin No1 Basic Aircrew Training Course to eventually fly the new Westland Wessex 31A anti-submarine helicopter.  As a Midshipman, he had all the privileges of the Navy’s oldest and finest Wardroom:  silver table service and all the trimmings as well as having long and tough hours that every recruit undergoes – running, jumping, swimming, marching, and much school work.  But nothing about flying even though the Course Officer was an Observer himself – eventually to good cause in postings later on.

It was in Vietnam that the “Golden Hour” for a wounded soldier to be flown to a casualty station became the rule.  The 135th, as with all the other AHCs, carried out its own troop resupplies, medevacs, reenforcements, and most crucially picking up their own pilots shot down.  But not until the troops called the day over did the EMUs go back to base.  A short day was 4 – 5 hours, a busy day was 8 – 10 hours and the most active engagements anything up to 14 hours flying.  Given that the day started with pre-flight inspections at 0430, then breakfast and briefings, take off at 0600, it made for very long and arduous flying.

Like most of the aircrew, Max was awarded numerous times:  the US Army Air Medal (12 times on the basis of 25 hours in combat for each one), two Vietnamese Crosses of Gallantry (one Bronze Star, the other Silver Star), and on 4th July, 1969, his US Army Honorary Aviator’s Wings!  Later his Distinguished Service Cross was presented by HM, The Queen, Elizabeth II, in Buckingham Palace. 
Read Max's full history in our Hero's section.
07 December
Sea legs of infantry fighting vehicles tested
The two vehicles under consideration for Australia’s multi-billion dollar infantry fighting vehicle project have undergone sea transportability trials on Sydney Harbour.  These trials for the Hanwha Defense Australia’s Redback and Rheinmetall Defence Australia’s KF-41 Lynx marked the end of the extensive test and evaluation program undertaken as part of the two-year risk mitigation activity under the LAND 400 Phase 3 project.  The vehicles were tested on their interoperability with a wide range of naval assets at HMAS Penguin and Garden Island naval bases, including various Navy landing craft and major ships including HMAS Choules and the landing helicopter dock, HMAS Adelaide.  Defence tested the ability of the vehicles to operate on and off the landing craft and ships, including transfers between the assets.  More.....
07 December
Course navigates a way through rough times
When COVID-19 hit, it looked like the Navy Reserve Entry Officers’ Course (REOC) would be an early casualty of the pandemic.  With restrictions on face-to-face learning, lockdowns and rules on interstate travel constantly changing, it seemed the essential but short course at HMAS Creswell would be completely incompatible with the new normal.  While many training centres were putting in-person courses on the backburner, Lieutenant Commander Andrew Johnston said this was never an option for REOC.  “It would have created a backlog, but also created gaps that could affect Navy capability,” Lieutenant Commander Johnston said.  More.....
06 December
Red kangaroos donated to Australia War Memorial
EIGHTY years to the day since HMAS Parramatta (II) was lost, the red kangaroo funnel insignia from successor ship Parramatta (IV) was donated to the Australian War Memorial (AWM).  Former Commanding Officer HMAS Parramatta (IV) Captain Anita Nemarich presented the kangaroos at the AWM’s Treloar Centre in Canberra on November 27.  “After being contacted by Commander Andy Schroder, it started a 12-month process of getting them off the ship and donated to the memorial,” Captain Nemarich said.  “To be able to donate the insignia on such an important day for Parramatta makes it even more significant.”  WWI torpedo boat destroyer Parramatta (I) was the first RAN ship recorded to sport a bronze kangaroo at the top of its jackstaff, to help identify her as an Australian warship.  Since the mid-1950s, Australian ships used a red kangaroo on their funnel to distinguish them from ships of other nations.  More.....
06 December
Paradise patrols strengthen partnership
Patrol boats from the Royal Australian Navy and Papua New Guinea Defence Force (PNGDF) maritime element worked together to conduct maritime surveillance and constabulary operations on Exercise Paradise.  The exercise was held in waters off Darwin from November 22 to 28 and involved HMAS Armidale and Papua New Guinea’s new Guardian-class patrol boat NUSHIP Francis Agwi.  Commanding Officer of Armidale Lieutenant Commander Patrick Bernard-Chandler said Exercise Paradise was part of a wide partnership with Papua New Guinea, the largest of Australia’s Defence cooperation programs.  “Bilateral defence training like Exercise Paradise strengthens our strategic partnership with Papua New Guinea and enhances our shared maritime security," Lieutenant Commander Bernard-Chandler said.  More.....
03 December

Wings Over Illawarra Airshow 2021
The Australian Defence Force took part in the Wings Over Illawarra Airshow at Albion Park Regional Airport near Wollongong, 26-28 November 2021. A  number of Army, Navy, and Air Force capabilities were on show; including an aerial display from an F-35A Lightning Strike II, F/A-18A/B Classic Hornet, and historical aircraft from No. 100 Squadron.

03 December

ADF supports Pacific Islands family in times of crisis
Around 100 ADF personnel have joined contingents from the Australian Federal Police, contingents from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Fiji and Papua New Guinea.  All deployed ADF members from the Deployable Joint Force Headquarters, Army’s 3rd Brigade, 6th Brigade, and 17th Brigade, Royal Australian Air Force No. 4 Squadron, and Royal Australian Navy’s HMAS Armidale are fully vaccinated and adhering to COVID safe protocols.

02 December

Navy Music Writers
The Royal Australian Navy Band 'Navy Music Writers' series showcases musicians in the band who arrange and even compose their own music. Arranging and composition of new music, particularly by our own members, is a critical part of the Navy Band's contribution to the evolving culture of the Royal Australian Navy.

02 December
RAN frigate, destroyer conclude multi-national exercise
The vessels have taken part in maritime warfare training alongside counterparts from four partner nations.  Royal Australian Navy vessels HMA Ships Brisbane and Warramunga have concluded nine days of interoperability training alongside the US Navy, the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, the Royal Canadian Navy and the German Navy in the Philippine Sea.  The exercises, which formed part of ANNUALEX 2021, involved maritime communications training, flying operations, replenishments at sea, and anti-submarine and anti-air warfare.  Commander of the Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Mark Hammond, reflected on the importance of positive navy-to-navy co-operation.  More.....
02 December
Naval workboat celebrates 40 years on the job
Naval Workboat Otter, Navy’s longest serving workboat, recently marked its 40th birthday at HMAS Cairns.  The original designer and port services crew were joined by Commanding Officer HMAS Cairns Commander Glenn Williams and Chaplain Bradley Galvin at the small boats pontoon for the celebrations.  Resplendent in a fresh coat of paint with her call sign flying proudly, Otter was saluted with cake and a blessing for 40 more years of good service.  One of 22 aluminium workboats built by North Queensland Engineers & Agent (NQEA) in Cairns in the 1970s and 80s for the Navy and Army, Naval Workboat Otter is the last left afloat.  More.....
02 December
Recognising extraordinary service
In November, Commander John Goss retired after 57 years’ service in the Royal Australian Navy.  He joined the Navy in 1964 as a junior recruit and retired as HMAS Cerberus museum manager.  Commander Goss reflected on his career, recalling the unique nature of his enrolment.  “At 14, I wasn’t enjoying school and saw an ad in the local paper for junior recruits but had to wait until I turned 15 to complete the paperwork,” he said.  “I did all the testing as was accepted into the Navy at 15 and a half, having quite an adventure just leaving Tasmania and getting to HMAS Leeuwin, including a four-day train journey from Melbourne to Perth.”  More.....
02 December
Trainees learn the weight of leadership
Realistic training scenarios tested New Entry Officers' Course (NEOC) trainee's leadership skills during Exercise Matapan, held between November 15 - 25, at HMAS Creswell.  The trainees faced challenges such as rescuing a group stranded at sea infected with a highly contagious virus.  It demonstrated how the Royal Australian Naval College was preparing officers for modern operations, according to Lead Instructor – Leadership, Lieutenant Lloyd Nash.  “We try to touch all facets of leadership in our assessments.  This scenario had an ethical decision-making element to it.”  Named after a resounding World War II Allied naval victory in the Mediterranean, Matapan is the final exercise before NEOC graduation.  More.....
01 December
How the RAN can get eight nuclear submarines by 2038
First, ditch the notion of building in Adelaide.  Construction in Australia is the single factor that cripples Australia’s plan to acquire at least eight nuclear-powered submarines.  It’s the sole reason why delivery of the first boat to the Royal Australian Navy probably can’t occur until around 2040, making the program laughably—or tragically—irrelevant to our increasingly urgent regional security problem.  To build in Adelaide, as the government says we will, facilities there must be prepared and managers and workers must be hired and trained for an exotic new endeavour. Of course, it could all go off the rails and take longer than expected.  Worse, because we can’t begin building early, this plan implies that we������ll add a worrying additional source of risk to the schedule and budget: extensive development work. No submarine class for which deliveries would begin around 2040 can be a design that is now in production.  More.....
01 December
A periodical of the Fleet Air Arm Association of Australia.
December Edition.....
News Archives:  For all news articles prior to 01 December 2021 go to our News Archive page

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At present the Shrine of Remembrance is closed, but ceremonies are still being conducted and they are live streamed on the Shrine's Facebook page.

25 Dec – Merry Christmas

01 Jan - Happy New Year

10 Feb - HMAS Voyager Service

14 Feb
- POW Memorial Ballarat

15 Feb
- Prisoners of War Service

19 Feb
- Darwin Defenders Service

- TBC - HMAS Yarra visits

- TBC - STS Young Endeavour visits

01 Mar
- HMAS Perth & USS Houston Service

01 Mar
- Father of the Navy Service

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