Navy Victoria Network
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Our mission is to provide a free, all-inclusive medium for the electronic exchange
 of information of interest, not just to the extended navy community of Victoria,
serving and ex-serving, but also to the wider Australian navy community.
Latest News for our Navy Network

Download the March edition of our newsletter BROADSIDE
March 2023
BROADSIDE - March 2023 Edition
  To read Broadside in Flipbook form, click on the "Full Screen" button.

25 March
Exercise La Perouse 2023
Exercise LA PEROUSE is complete! Frigate HMAS Perth joined counterparts from France, India, Japan, UK and the USA in the Bay of Bengal where ships and aircraft conducted a number of training activities at sea, improving interoperability in the maritime domain.

24 March
Army engineers give remote island a lift
Army engineers from 6th Engineer Support Regiment (6ESR) will spend several days on Vanuatu’s remote island of Futuna to help restore key buildings severely damaged by Tropical Cyclones Judy and Kevin.  A team of 32 personnel, as well as tools and construction materials, were airlifted on to Vanuatu’s most easterly island by Army CH-47 Chinooks embarked in HMAS Canberra.  6ESR operations officer Major Matthew Hill said the engineers would live and work alongside the local community while they helped refurbish the local medical centre, police station and church.  More.....
24 March
Destiny of a sea warrior's descendant
Royal Australian Navy nursing officer Lieutenant Donna Miller was destined for a life at sea.  Born in Fiji and moving to Australia at the age of three, Lieutenant Miller’s great-great-grandfather Ratu Loaloadravu Tubuanakoro was one of the renowned Lasakau Sea Warriors, from the island of Bau, who ruled parts of the Pacific in the 19th century.  In 1827, French Captain Dumont D'Urville invited Tubuanakoro on board his ship Astrolabe to learn from the Fijian’s renowned navigational skills and knowledge of the waters around the Fiji archipelago.  More.....
24 March
Setting sail to take flight
After an extended maintenance period of more than 12 months, HMAS Choules has now set sail to renew its authority to operate aircraft.  In mid-March, Choules embarked a MH-60R Seahawk to conduct first-of-class flight trials.  The trials, conducted off the Queensland coast, facilitated the development of ship’s helicopter operating limits (SHOLs) that ensure safe take-off and landing conditions for the aircraft to operate at sea.  More.....
24 March
North Korea Unveils New ‘Haeil’ Suicide Underwater Drone
North Korea’s state media KCNA (Korean Central News Agency) released photos of a new suicide AUV (Autonomous Underwater Vehicle) named 해일 (Haeil: meaning Tsunami in English) taken during an exercise that took place between March 21st through 23rd, suggesting that their new suicide drones are capable of carrying nuclear warheads.  The state media said that “Haeil made a ‘lethal’ cruise underwater between a depth of 80m (400ft) to 150m (600ft) for 59 hours and 12 minutes in pre-designated courses, before its warhead successfully detonated at the simulated target near the bay of Hongwon two days after it was launched.”  More.....
23 March
Will ‘impactful projection’ see the return of the fixed-wing Naval Air Arm?
Australia’s pursuit of “impactful projection” marks a major step change in the nation’s strategic direction and capabilities — as part of this shift, will we see a return in some capacity to Australian fixed-wing naval aviation?  Throughout the history of naval warfare, platforms, doctrine, and the very concept of maritime-based power projection and sea control have evolved as the ambitions and interests of nations did.  More.....
23 March
Submariners excited by sea of opportunity
On the same day Australia announced its acquisition of nuclear-powered submarines, 10 prospective submariners got a taste of the job.  The realistic job preview (RJP) took place at HMAS Stirling on March 14, just as Australia’s Prime Minister stood with the UK Prime Minister and US President to outline the details of the acquisitions under the AUKUS partnership.  Conducted monthly, RJP is run by the Submarine Recruiting, Mentoring and Development Team, including Warrant Officer Jason Steward and Petty Officer Haydn Bonderenko.  More.....
23 March
Policy, Guns and Money: AUKUS challenges and opportunities
In this special episode, ASPI Executive Director Justin Bassi speaks with Richard Fontaine and Lisa Curtis from the Center for a New American Security and Alessio Patalano from King’s College London about the strategic imperatives and future challenges of AUKUS.

23 March
Navy helicopter with 10 on board crashes off Jervis Bay

22 March
Defence personnel and veterans rush to beat Royal Commission deadline
A legal service funded by the federal government has fielded more than 1,200 calls in a year from veterans and their families who want to be heard by the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide.  Almost a quarter of the demand is coming from Queensland's veterans community with 341 calls taken by the Defence and Legal Service in February.  Likewise, 316 calls were made to the New South Wales service, 190 from Western Australia and 140 calls were made in Victoria.  Brisbane-based veteran SiuPing Wong is one of the hundreds currently preparing a written submission to the Royal Commission.  More.....
22 March
How the new AUKUS sub agreement impacts Beijing’s calculus on Taiwan
The recently revealed AUKUS plan, including the development of new SSN AUKUS-class submarines, clearly changes the strategic calculus for the United States, United Kingdom and Australia in the Indo-Pacific.  What is less clear, naval analysts tell Breaking Defense, is exactly what impact it will have on China’s thinking — especially when it comes to a potential invasion of Taiwan.  Sidharth Kaushal, research fellow at the UK-based Royal United Services Institute defense think tank, said AUKUS will likely make a Chinese attack on Taiwan, "decidedly less appealing."  More.....
22 March
CTF 74 Visits U.S. Submarine in Australia
Rear Adm. Rick Seif, commander, Submarine Group 7/Task Force (CTF) 74, visited Perth, Australia, to meet with the Sailors of the Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Asheville (SSN 758) during its port visit to Royal Australian Navy (RAN) base HMAS Stirling, March 13-16.  While visiting, Seif was the senior U.S. Navy representative for multiple distinguished visitor tours of Asheville. The tours included visits by Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles, Treasurer Jim Chalmers, and Minister for Defence Industry Pat Conroy, as well as leaders in the Australian defense industry and guests of the U.S. Consulate General Perth.  More.....
22 March
Navy's rapid response to distressed civilians
Navy ships have provided prompt assistance to two separate civilian vessels in distress in less than four hours.  Huon-class minehunter HMAS Yarra and multi-role aviation training vessel MV Sycamore were both in vicinity of Jervis Bay when the two incidents occurred.  At around 9am on March 9, Sycamore was conducting training activities when the crew received a request for assistance through Marine Rescue Jervis Bay.  More.....
21 March
Primed for the cyber frontline
One year on from its establishment, the Information Warfare Officer (IWO) work group is maturing rapidly and growing.  The work group celebrated its first birthday in the Bonshaw Mess at HMAS Harman on March 3.  Marking the anniversary, Commodore Matthew Doornbos, Director General Navy Intelligence and Information Warfare, noted there were currently 76 IWOs, 40 due to complete their transfer of work group and more in the pipeline.  Captain Andrew Macalister, Program Director for Navy Intelligence and Information Warfare, said there has never been a more exciting time to be involved in information warfare.  More.....
20 March
Australia needs more welders for submarine program
Weld Australia has confirmed that Australia’s welders are more than capable of building the new fleet of eight nuclear-powered submarines agreed to in the $368 billion AUKUS deal this week.  However, the biggest risk facing the nuclear-powered AUKUS submarine build is whether enough skilled welders can be recruited and trained.  As such, Weld Australia is calling for a Shipbuilding Welding Academy to be established and funded by the Federal Government.  According to Geoff Crittenden, CEO, Weld Australia, “There has been some discussion in the media over whether the quality of Australian welders is sufficient to build the proposed AUKUS nuclear-powered submarines.  More.....
20 March
Live a Story Worth Telling
There’s a lot that can be said about life at sea.
But the stories worth telling, don’t always have to be the biggest.
The greatest of stories come from the smallest of moments.
Come and live a story worth telling.

20 March
Surveying for the Solomons
On a remote island in the east of Solomon Islands, a team of specialist surveyors collected data that will help support a secure and resilient region.  The data collected from the hydrographic, land and environment surveys will inform the Solomon Islands Government’s decision on the final location for the Eastern Border Outpost.  The outpost will be home to Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) personnel as well as Customs, Immigration, Biosecurity and Disaster Management Officials to enhance Solomon Islands’ border security and maritime surveillance capability.  More.....
17 March
Navy divers refloat fisheries boat
Royal Australian Navy clearance divers have helped the Vanuatu Fisheries Department (VFD) salvage one of their small boats, which sunk in the aftermath of Tropical Cyclones Judy and Kevin.  The FV Scabra, a timber boat built locally in Vanuatu, was partially submerged near the police maritime wing’s RVS Mala Base wharf in Port Vila Harbour.  Australian Clearance Diving Team One Operations Officer Lieutenant Matt Bailey said it was important to remove the boat as it had presented a navigational hazard to other vessels.  More.....
17 March
HMAS Cerberus Open Day
HMAS Cerberus is looking great following the base redevelopment project. If you want to see it all up close and personal, come down to the base Open Day on Sunday 19 March 2023.
Open Day Entry Tickets Registration Portal:

17 March
High-energy laser weapon prototypes to be fabricated by early 2028
High-energy laser weapon systems prototypes will be manufactured and delivered by March 2028, under a US$75 million multiple award contract announced by the US State Department this week.  Under the deal, multiple companies will fabricate and deliver prototypes and equipment in support of solid-state high-energy laser weapon systems for the US Naval Surface Warfare Center.  More.....
17 March
Demand exploding for Tomahawk missiles as US backs latest foreign sale
Australia plans to buy the latest version of America’s long-range Tomahawk land attack missile in a $985 million deal announced Thursday.  It’s the latest in a surge of demand for the Raytheon Technologies-made Tomahawk, after U.S. Navy officials said this week their proposed budget, with foreign military sales, would max out the production line.  Japan’s new budget would reportedly bulk-buy 400 Tomahawks for as much as $1.6 billion, among other counterstrike capabilities.  More.....
17 March
Time to take the politics out of strategic planning
Former Australian defence minister Ian McLachlan has made a timely plea for genuine bipartisanship in defence planning to provide advice based on experience and to ensure continuity across successive governments.  McLachlan, who was defence minister in the Howard government from 1996 to 1998, is asked in a video interview as part of ASPI’s ‘Lessons in leadership’ series what advice he’d have for a counterpart now.  More.....
17 March
Vanuatu Policeman ready for landing
A member of the Vanuatu Police Force has taken advantage of HMAS Canberra's presence in his country, taking part in training with the ship’s landing craft.  Maritime Senior Inspector and Executive Officer Gary Aru joined the ship in Port Vila, where it has been moving humanitarian supplies and engineering personnel at the request of the Vanuatu Government.  He said the maritime wing was looking at procuring its own landing craft, so gaining early experience on board Canberra was a great opportunity.  More.....
17 March
Exercise fuels excitement for first timers
HMAS Perth joined five other nations for a French Navy-led exercise in the Bay of Bengal, exercising coordination of ships and aircraft in the maritime domain.  Exercise La Perouse saw Australia, France, India, Japan, the UK and the US come together at sea for several days to conduct a number of activities aimed at building interoperability in a combined environment.  Perth kicked off the exercise with a replenishment at sea with Indian Navy Ship Jyoti.  More.....
17 March
Obituary: Rear Admiral James Goldrick AO CSC RAN Retired
On 17 March 2023 Rear Admiral James Goldrick died in Canberra. He was a naval officer of exceptional intellect and influence, who became Australia’s most internationally acclaimed naval historian.  In 1974, a fifteen-year-old James Goldrick joined the Royal Australian Naval College at Jervis Bay, as a cadet midshipman.  His class of twenty-eight included two Kiwis and together they developed a strong bond against the vicissitudes of Naval College life.  In an environment that spawned nicknames, he was simply known as James.  He was enthusiastic for all things maritime, and he made model warships from balsa wood which led to his first appearance in Navy News.  More.....
16 March
Policy, Guns and Money: Diving into the AUKUS submarine announcement
After the long-awaited AUKUS submarine announcement, ASPI director Bec Shrimpton and senior analyst Malcolm Davis give their views on the decisions unveiled in San Diego this week. 
In conversation with ASPI’s David Wroe, Bec and Malcolm talk about the role nuclear submarines can play in deterrence, the cost of the program weighed against the potential costs of underinvesting in defence, the need to build a skilled workforce, the risks to AUKUS of information-sharing paralysis and possible political headwinds, and the merits of the phased approach to the introduction of AUKUS submarines.

16 March
UK relationship in safe hands
Twenty-four years after serving in the United Kingdom on an exchange program with the Royal Navy’s Commando Helicopter Force, Captain Adrian Capner has returned as Australia’s Naval Adviser.  Captain Capner is now the third aviator in a row to take on the role, which is based at the High Commission in London.  “It feels good to be back – a lot has happened in the years in between,” Captain Capner said.  More.....
16 March
ADF delivers vital medical supplies
Australian Army CH-47 Chinook helicopters, embarked on HMAS Canberra, are supporting the Vanuatu Ministry of Health with delivering vital medical supplies to Vanuatu’s southern Tafea Province.  The supplies – which include medicines, children’s nutrition, medical kits and fridges to store temperature-sensitive materials such as vaccines – were moved to Canberra by the ship’s landing craft in Port Vila.  More.....
15 March
Creswell Oration 01 March 2023
Guest Speaker Captain Ainslie G. Morthorpe CSM
RAN Commanding Officer HMAS Cerberus

"How Maritime Thinkers of the 19th and Early 20th Century
Built the Australian Navy and HMAS Cerberus"

15 March
Pausing to remember in the Sunda Strait
Sailing through the Sunda Strait between border protection operations, the Anzac Class frigate HMAS Perth III paid homage to sailors from HMAS Perth I and USS Houston, which fought in the Battle of Sunda Strait in 1942.  Within sight of the Perth I and Houston wreck sites, Perth III paused to remember their fallen shipmates in a moving service to mark the 81st anniversary.  Gathering on the flight deck, the crew heard stories of courage and sacrifice, and a gallant fight in the face of overwhelming odds.  More.....
14 March
Historic Announcement: AUKUS Nuclear-Powered Submarines
Today's announcement by the Prime Ministers of Australia and the United Kingdom and President of the United States is a significant moment for Australia’s Defence capability and Australian naval history.

Jointly they announced the pathway for Australia to acquire a conventionally-armed, nuclear-powered submarine (SSN) capability.

Please find below links to the Chief of Defence Force and the Secretary’s message to the ADF and the AUKUS public report.

AUKUS Report and Fact Sheets

CDF and Secretary's Message
14 March
Western Australia home for Australia's first nuclear-powered submarines
Western Australia will be at the forefront of Australia’s AUKUS Pathway, continuing its proud tradition as the home of Australian submarines.  This multi-generational undertaking to acquire and operate conventionally-armed, nuclear-powered sovereign submarines will see significant benefits for jobs and the economy in the West.  Over the next decade, the Australian Government will invest up to $8 billion to expand HMAS Stirling, creating around 3,000 direct jobs.  More.....
14 March
AUKUS submarine workforce and industry strategy
The Albanese Government is developing a comprehensive AUKUS Submarine Workforce and Industry Strategy to support delivery of advanced conventionally-armed nuclear-powered submarines to the Australian Defence Force.  The AUKUS submarine program will be the most transformative industrial endeavour in Australian history – exceeding in scale, complexity and economic significance the creation of an Australian automotive manufacturing sector and the construction of the Snowy Scheme in the post-war decades.  More.....
14 March
AUKUS nuclear-powered submarine pathway
Today’s significant AUKUS announcement about Australia’s acquisition of nuclear-powered submarines is the single biggest investment in our defence capability in our history and represents a transformational moment for our nation, our Defence Force and our economy.

The agreement will:

*  Strengthen Australia’s national security and contribute to regional stability in response to unprecedented strategic challenges.
*  Build a future made in Australia, by Australians, with record investments in defence, skills, jobs and infrastructure.
*  Deliver a superior capability after a decade of inaction and mismanagement.  More.....
14 March
South Australia to deliver nuclear-powered submarine build
South Australia will be the home of Australian nuclear-powered submarine construction, helping to deliver the single greatest upgrade for our Defence capability starting this year.  Delivering on the Albanese Government’s commitment, Australia’s next-generation nuclear-powered submarines will be built at Osborne, South Australia.  More.....
13 March
Screen Warriors helps vets transition to film, TV industries
A program to recruit, train and mentor Australian Defence Force veterans into a career in Australia’s film and television industry was held recently.  The program is a joint initiative of the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS) and the Veterans Film Festival (VFF).  The Screen Warriors program was launched in late 2022 by VFF Executive Chairman Warwick Young OAM and AFTRS CEO Dr Nell Greenwood, commencing a call out for applicants from across the Defence force spectrum interested in pathways to a screen industry career.  The pilot course of the innovative program was held on 8-9 March 2023 at AFTRS in Sydney.  Twelve participants were in the first intake and have already departed from Defence and are currently transitioning or supporting a family member in the ADF.  More.....
13 March
Vasey RSL Care joins campaign to reduce veteran homelessness
Over 300 veterans who leave the Australian Defence Force each year experience homelessness, a figure that is 280 percent higher than the general population.  Although most veterans manage the transition to post-service life, there is a group whose acute needs are not being met.  In the limited provision of veteran-specific homelessness services throughout Australia, and particularly in Victoria where no services currently exist, veterans are being supported by an overwhelmed mainstream approach, if they are being supported at all.  In light of this, ex-servicemen and women, with the support of Vasey RSL Care, are launching a campaign to help their homeless comrades in Australia.  More.....
10 March
In AUKUS, Navy eyes a full-service submarine garage in Asia-Pacific
The U.S. Navy envisions a submarine hub in Australia from which the service can oversee the entire range of undersea activities in the Asia-Pacific region, from boat production to repairs to missions, service Secretary Carlos del Toro said last month.  His comments reveal how Washington views its future relationship with Australia as a key foothold in closer proximity to rival China.  With most of the plans for a fleet of nuclear-powered boats for Canberra still up in the air, the U.S. sea service has its eyes on the near-term benefit of being able to base and repair U.S. Virginia-class attack submarines in Australian ports.  More.....
10 March
HMS Tamar protects paradise in rare visit to UK’s Indian Ocean territory
Sailors from HMS Tamar protected rare turtle nesting grounds and helped with a huge illegal fishing haul during three weeks in an Indian Ocean paradise.  Crew of the patrol ship concentrated on safeguarding the environment in the British Indian Ocean Territory, ensuring the remote island chain’s rare wildlife was not disturbed by the illegal actions of humanity.  They found its shores littered with tonnes of rubbish and fishermen flouting international law, trawling the territory’s expansive, protected waters – roughly the size of Texas – for its rich stocks of rare fish.  More.....
10 March
A piece of history returned home
HMAS Arunta II received an unusual gift when the HMAS Arunta I white ensign was presented to the ship while in Tasmania for the Royal Hobart Regatta.  The flag was held by the now deceased Cedric Pretyman, who served on Arunta I during WW2 from April 1, 1942, as a signalman.  His family presented the ensign and other memorabilia to the ship during an open day.  It was by chance the family of the WW2 veteran learned that Arunta II would be in port in Hobart, and they took a chance showing up at the security gate with items they had discovered following Mr Pretyman’s death.  More.....
09 March
New Sail Training Ship
A new sail training ship will be built in Australia over the next three years, to replace STS Young Endeavour.  The original brigantine is now 35 years old, and has been delivering sail training voyages in Australia since 1988.  The new ship will be a barquentine rig, with square sails rigged on the foremast and fore-and-aft sails rigged on the fore, main and mizzen masts (yes, three masts!). It will accommodate up to 42 youth crew on each voyage. It will also be able to undertake more voyages per year, meaning more young Australians will be able to access this unique development program.  More.....
09 March
Exercise Black Carillon 2023
Navy has successfully competed Exercise Black Carillon 23, the annual submarine search and rescue exercise off the coast of Western Australia, along with international observers from Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. Navy’s submarine abandonment, escape and rescue system has been certified for another year as part of Exercise Black Carillon 23.

09 March
Urgent repairs underway on one of Australia's newest ships after 'potential mechanical defects' discovered
Engineers are working to repair one of the Royal Australian Navy's newest ships, with Defence investigating "possible mechanical defects" on the Spanish-built HMAS Supply.  Details of the problems recently discovered on board the navy's replenishment vessel are being kept closely guarded, but the ABC's been told it involves either a large bracket or drive train that is connected to the rotor.  More.....
09 March
Viewpoint: No Australian content as AUKUS tilts toward a U.K. purchase
We will all be put out of our misery – metaphorically speaking – on Tuesday, Australian time, when the “optimal pathway” for acquiring nuclear powered submarines will be revealed.  This will be in the U.S. west coast city of San Diego by President Joe Biden, U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and our own Anthony Albanese, flying in after a visit to India.  The latest rumours have an air of consistency to them, namely that the pathway will somehow involve Australian participation in the next generation U.K. attack class submarine program, currently known as the SSN(R).  Given that this activity might produce a new nuclear-powered submarine by 2050, there are hints that the Royal Navy could sell the last two Astute submarines – yet to be completed – to Australia as gap fillers.  More.....
09 March
Frigate back in the fight
Anzac-class frigate HMAS Toowoomba achieved a key milestone in explosive fashion while undergoing training off the coast of Western Australia.  Toowoomba successfully fired an Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM) for the first time since completing the Anzac Midlife Capability Assurance Program (AMCAP) upgrade.  Toowoomba’s weapons electrical engineering officer, Lieutenant Commander Kieran Davis, said it was a significant part of maintaining operational readiness.  More.....
09 March
Navy to the rescue of stranded mariners
The ship’s company of destroyer HMAS Hobart rescued six mariners from a 30-metre motor yacht north of Australia on March 6.  A rigid-hulled inflatable boat (RHIB) was deployed from Hobart in unfavourable conditions to enable the rescue of the crew, who had experienced engine trouble and became stranded in international waters north east of Darwin, near Kolepon (Dolok), Indonesia.  Under the watchful eyes of skilled sailors and officers, the RHIB was launched safely under challenging conditions, effecting the difficult transfer of personnel from the disabled MV Vivierae II.  More.....
08 March
HMAS Canberra departs for Operation Vanuatu Assist 23
HMAS Canberra loaded vehicles and aircraft in Sydney in readiness to sail as part of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) response to the DFAT-led, Whole-of-Government support to Vanuatu in the wake of Severe Tropical Cyclone Judy and Tropical Cyclone Kevin.

08 March
Path set at a young age
At 14, Chief Petty Officer Elaine Egan saw a glossy Navy brochure lying near a playground. Thanks to that chance sighting and her father’s fond memories of his time in the Royal Navy, her choice of career was clear.  More than 40 years on, and with a Federation Star to honour her service, Chief Petty Officer Egan is working in logistics at Victoria Barracks, Melbourne, and is very proud of her Navy Service.  “I have always been proud to serve and wear the uniform. I like being part of the ADF family and doing jobs the civilian world doesn’t do,” she said.  More.....
08 March
Reaping the rewards of equal opportunity
Able Seaman Swanson was not deterred by the fact that there were more men in her career path than women.  She joined in 2017 after Defence recruiters visited her school, and at one point was the only female electronics technician in her ship’s department, but today there are noticeably more.  “Women are able to access and enjoy the same resources, rewards and opportunities as men in the Royal Australian Navy (RAN),” she said.  More.....
08 March
Defence celebrates International Womens Day 2023

08 March
Front Row Seat to Career Mastery
International Women's Day

This year's theme is 'Cracking the Code: Innovation for a gender equal future'. A Navy captain has helped design a workforce system that enables women to map out their careers in STEM.
A rower and the president of Australian Defence Force Rowing, Captain Virginia Hayward knows a thing or two about competition.  As the Director of Navy Workforce Strategy and Futures, she helped design a system to give sailors a competitive edge when it comes to their careers.  More.....
07 March
Teamwork key to submarine rescue exercise
Navy's submarine abandonment, escape and rescue (SAER) system was certified for another year as part of the annual Exercise Black Carillon, which ran from February 13-24.  The exercise, conducted off the coast of Western Australia, included international observers from Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.  The Australian Submarine Rescue System (ASRS), which is maintained and operated by industry partner JFD, was designed to be transported by sea, land or air to locate a disabled submarine (DISSUB) and rescue its crew.  More.....
07 March
CDRE John Malet Armstrong CBE DSO US Navy Cross

John Malet Armstrong was born on 5 January 1900 in Sydney, the son of Dr William George and Elizabeth Jane Armstrong. He was educated at Sydney Grammar School and All Saints College in Bathurst, NSW, before entering the Royal Australian Naval College in 1914, at that time located at Osborne House in Geelong, Victoria.

He was made a Midshipman on 1 January 1918 and joined HMAS Australia (I) at Scapa Flow, Scotland, in April. Described as intelligent and tactful, and shy yet energetic, his successive Commanding Officers in Australia all saw promise in Armstrong. Back in Australia after the war he had numerous postings to ships, shore establishments and overseas exchanges. Sea postings included HMA Ships Brisbane(I), Adelaide (I), Sydney(I) and Australia(II).

Armstrong known as ‘Jamie’ to his fellow officers, and nicknamed ‘Black Jack’ by the sailors, was back serving in HMAS Australia (II) as Executive Officer at the outbreak of World War II. In October 1940 Australia was searching for a suspected raider in the North Atlantic when a Sunderland Flying Boat came down in heavy seas north of the Hebrides in one of the worst Atlantic gales of the year. After the ditched aircraft commenced sending out weak wireless distress signals, Australia at 8 a.m. on October 29th was ordered to search for the disabled Aircraft. Commander ‘Black Jack’ Armstrong, with a dozen of the ‘Aussie’s’ crew in bowlines, went over the side into the boiling North Atlantic sea in the icy water. One by one they had to be hauled on board, With the ship rolling heavily, the airmen’s heavy water-logged gear made for a long and difficult task. Persistence and sheer bravery from those over the side securing each airman finally triumphed. Nine of the crew of thirteen were finally on board, suffering from exposure, but they would be safe after time spent in the sick bay. The nine rescued were Flight Lieutenant Giddy, Pilot Officers Evans and Neugebauer, Sergeants Gough, Taylor and Cusworth, L.A.C. Gay and Mechanics Hicks and Bond. Midshipmen ‘Red’ Merson (later Commodore J.L.W. Merson, R.A.N.) recalled that the nine were practically helpless with cold and the effect of sea water. The remaining four of the crew drifted out of reach past the Australia.
Read the full fascinating story at:
06 March
The first Ocius Bluebottle Uncrewed Surface Vessels for the ADF
The Minister for Defence Industry, The Hon Pat Conroy MP and Assistant Minister for Defence, The Hon Matt Thistlethwaite MP, have welcomed the arrival of the first Ocius BlueBottle Uncrewed Surface Vessels (USVs) for the Australian Defence Force.  The Royal Australian Navy and Defence industry have worked together through a Defence Innovation Hub initiative to develop the Ocius BlueBottle USV, with two of the five vessels received.  More.....
05 March
Older Australians keen to take up the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card
More than 10,000 additional older Australians and veterans have had their cost of living pressures reduced after being granted a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card following eligibility changes last year.  In the first four months since the Albanese Labor Government introduced increased income thresholds, an additional 10,893 older Australians have been granted the card who would not have been eligible previously.  The annual income thresholds increased in November following the passage of legislation.  These increased to:
$90,000 for singles, up from the previous limit of $57,761; and
$144,000 for couples, up from the previous limit of $92,416.  More.....
05 March
HMAS Canberra to deploy to Vanuatu
The Australian Government will today deploy HMAS Canberra following a request from the Government of Vanuatu.  The 230-metre long Landing Helicopter Dock has completed loading equipment, stores and personnel and will sail from its homeport of Sydney to Vanuatu to provide support to the country following Tropical Cyclones Judy and Kevin.  The Ship and more than 600 ADF personnel will bring a versatile set of capabilities to support the Whole-of-Government response to the cyclones, led by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).  More.....
05 March
Navy on display at the Airshow
The Navy showcased technologically-advanced capabilities at the Australian International Airshow 2023 (AIA23), where Navy’s footprint included helicopters, camcopter, virtual reality simulations and much more.  The AIA23 – a biennial activity coordinated and run by the AMDA Foundation with the Royal Australian Air Force, other government agencies and non-government elements in support – is the premier showcase in the southern hemisphere for military aviation and the aerospace industry.  More.....
03 March
LHD Deck trials with US Apache aboard HMAS Canberra
A US Army AH-64E Apache conducted a series of deck-based training activities aboard HMAS Canberra while alongside at Fleet Base East in Sydney.

03 March
NAVDEX 2023: K50 Gunship, Aksungur ASW UAV, Rafael Typhoon & Spike NLOS, Chinese USV
Day 2 at NAVDEX 2023 in Abu Dhabi, UAE. In this video, we cover the K50 Gunship by Kraken, Turkish Aerospace's Aksungur MALE UAV with its ASW payload, Rafael Spike NLOS 6th generation and Typhoon, Polytechnologies USV.

03 March
Keeping focused and level at sea
While most are asleep in their cabins, a sailor sits working in repair bases with his satchel of painting supplies.  Leading Seaman Marine Technician Geoff Anthony prefers anonymity, labelling himself his own biggest critic.  Having exhibited for many years, he chooses not to stand by his own work at gallery openings.  “I just wander around. Some of the comments you hear are just plain cruel,” Leading Seaman Anthony said.  More.....
02 March
Australia Joins MU90 Light Weight Torpedo ISS Program
On 28 February 2023, after signature by the Nations of the Programme Decision and Memorandum of Understanding, the OCCAR-EA Director Joachim Sucker and the Director of EuroTorp Giovanni Oliveri signed the contract for the In-Service Support of the Light Weight Torpedo (LWT) MU90.  The LWT Programme covers In-Service Support (ISS) for the MU90 torpedoes that the Participating States currently have in service.  It builds on a 30-year joint development and production programme between France and Italy to meet 21st century Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) operational requirements, including shallow water and submarine hunting-killing capabilities.  More.....
02 March
China sends 25 planes, 3 ships toward Taiwan
China sent 25 warplanes and three warships toward Taiwan on Wednesday morning, the island’s Defense Ministry said, as tensions remain high between Beijing and Taipei’s main backer Washington.  The ministry said 19 of those planes crossed into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone while the ships were continuing to operate in the Taiwan Strait.  It said Taiwan responded by scrambling fighters, dispatching ships and activating coastal missile defense systems to “closely monitor and respond.”  More.....
02 March
U.S., U.K. Navies Capture Anti-Tank Guided Missiles From Iran
The Navy helped the United Kingdom Royal Navy confiscate a weapons shipment from Iran, Naval Forces Central Command announced Thursday.  U.S. forces worked with the Royal Navy to provide airborne support, including reconnaissance and surveillance, in the Gulf of Oman, according to a news release from Naval Forces Central Command.  The assistance helped U.K. frigate HMS Lancaster (F229) confiscate anti-tank guided missiles and medium-range ballistic missile components from a small boat.  On the boat were Dehlavieh missiles, the Iranian equivalent of the Russian 9M133 Kornet anti-tank guided missiles.  More.....
02 March
Day 1 at NAVDEX 2023 – ADSB, CMN Naval, Al Fattan, Al Seer Marine, UAE Navy
Day one at NAVDEX 2023, the naval defense exhibition held in Abu Dhabi, UAE. In this video, we focused on local shipbuilders and UAE Navy Gowind corvette.

02 March
The future is now for sustainment model
Plan Galileo, Defence’s national approach to sustaining the Navy fleet to ensure its ships can be deployed where and when they are needed, has a new leader at the helm.  In taking over as Head Maritime Sustainment, Rear Admiral Steve Tiffen commended the work of his predecessor, Rear Admiral Wendy Malcolm.  “It’s an enormous task to commence a delivery reform as significant as Plan Galileo, and for Rear Admiral Wendy Malcolm to have achieved so many milestones so soon is admirable,” Rear Admiral Tiffen said.  More.....
01 March
Pearl Harbor survivor Jack Holder dies in Arizona at age 101
Jack Holder, a Pearl Harbor survivor who went on become a decorated World War II flyer who flew over 100 missions in the Pacific and European theaters, has died in Arizona. He was 101.  Darlene Tryon, a close friend and the executor of Holder’s estate, said he died at Friday at a hospital in the Phoenix suburb of Chandler.  The Pearl Harbor National Memorial also announced the death. Born to a farming family in Gunter, Texas, Holder joined the Navy in 1940 when he was 18.  He was on duty at Ford Island within Oahu’s Pearl Harbor when Japanese aircraft bombed the U.S. naval base on Dec. 7, 1941.  More.....
01 March
Thanks for stopping by
A visiting US Army AH-64E Apache stopped by to say “howdy” to HMAS Canberra in Sydney last week, taking the opportunity to conduct a series of deck-based training activities.  The US Apache was in transit to the Australian International Airshow 2023 in Avalon, Victoria, presenting Army and Navy personnel with an ideal training opportunity ahead of the arrival of Australia’s AH-64E Apache fleet in 2025.  Major Daniel Tidd from Army Aviation’s Command Battlefield Aviation Program was on board to witness the training after months of coordination.  More.....
01 March
Deep dive into real-time readiness
Australian Clearance Diving Team Four (AUSCDT Four) rolled out a new phase of workups under the vigilant eye of the Sea Training Group.  Sharpening skills allows the team to be ready for rapid deployment to conduct emergency ship repairs and provide skills and equipment applied in scenarios including humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions.  The team’s capability includes, among other things, neutralising and disposing of underwater explosives, search missions, underwater engineering and maintenance, tactical operations and underwater demolitions.  More.....
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(What's happening around Victoria)
Please refer to our Calendar
for full details of the coming
events listed below.

01 Mar – 0900 - Father of the Navy Service - Brighton Cemetery

01 Mar – 1100 - HMAS Perth & USS Houston Service – Shrine, Sanctuary

01 Mar – 1200 - Creswell Oration - Waverley RSL

05 Mar – 1100 – HMAS Yarra (II) Commemorative Service – HMAS Yarra (II) National Memorial

27 Mar – 1900 – NHSA(Vic) Meeting – Waverley RSL

16 Apr – 1200 – George Cross Award Day – Maltese Association

24 April – 1900 – NHSA(Vic) Meeting – Waverley RSL

25 Apr – 0600 – Anzac Day Dawn Service – Shrine Forecourt

25 Apr – 0830 – Anzac Day March - Swanston St

05 May – 1230 – HMAS Castlemaine Service – Shrine Sanctuary

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