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 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 May edition of our newsletter BROADSIDE
31 May
Veteran owes it all to man's best friend
PTSD almost destroyed Mick Nobes’ life, but a helping paw helped him turn things around.  The former clearance diver had “rubbish” in his head after 24 years in Navy and time spent removing unexploded bombs from Laos and Cambodia.  “I wouldn't leave the house or get out of bed until two in the afternoon,” Mr Nobes said.  “I didn’t deal with people well.”  It wasn’t until he met a black labrador named Lola that things started to turn around.  More.....
31 May
Video shows Chinese fighter jet flying close to US aircraft
The U.S. military said Tuesday that a Chinese fighter jet flew aggressively close to a U.S. reconnaissance aircraft over the South China Sea, forcing the American pilot to fly through the turbulent wake.  The Chinese J-16 fighter pilot “flew directly in front of the nose of the RC-135,” which was conducting routine operations in international airspace last Friday, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command said in a statement.  It called the Chinese move an " unnecessarily aggressive maneuver.”  More.....
30 May
French Navy Chief Calls for European Navies to Increase Presence and Engagement in Key Waters
European navies may need to provide greater-still at-sea presence in key European waters – and further afield, into the Indian Ocean and beyond – to add mass in these regions to deter security threats if US Navy forces are increasingly focused on operational deployments in the Pacific, the French Navy’s Chief of Naval Staff told a major UK Royal Navy (RN) conference in London.  Such presence can also be bolstered by European navies working increasingly closely with the US Navy – for example deploying more surface ships with US Navy carrier strike groups (CSGs), or even deploying their own CSGs, to work with US Navy forces including in the Indo-Pacific region. In this context, France will deploy the FS Charles de Gaulle CSG to the region in 2024.  More.....
29 May
NT veterans to receive more support with new wellbeing centre in Darwin
Defence veterans based in the Northern Territory are expected to receive more support after the opening of a new wellbeing hub in Darwin.  The Mates4Mates Veteran and Family Wellbeing Centre in Stuart Park has been designed to operate as a one-stop shop for key veterans services, including mental health support, physical rehabilitation, wellbeing programs and legal and advocacy assistance.  More.....
BROADSIDE - May 2023 Edition
  To read Broadside in Flipbook form, click on the "Full Screen" button.

29 May
Schoolroom inspiration comes full circle
Growing up on a farm in Mareeba, a small country town an hour outside of Cairns, Seaman Elly-May Mitchell said there wasn’t much opportunity to see the world.  But she saw her chance after school visits from Navy personnel and heard stories of their overseas adventures.  When she heard her brother’s praise for the Navy Indigenous Development Program (NIDP), Seaman Mitchell knew the Navy would be the right fit for her.  “My brother would come back home and tell us all about it, and I thought, that seems pretty cool.  So, my mum’s like ‘why don’t you try it out?’,” she said.  More.....
27 May
Defence Strategic Review External Advisory Panel appointed
The Government will establish an External Advisory Panel to oversee the implementation of the Defence Strategic Review (DSR) recommendations.  Former Secretary of the Department of Defence, Mr Dennis Richardson AC, former Secretary of the Department of Finance, Ms Rosemary Huxtable PSM, and former Deputy Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Mr Richard Maude have been appointed to the Panel.  The Defence Strategic Review and the Government’s response will inform all aspects of Australia’s defence policy, planning and resourcing over the coming decades.  More.....
27 May
Marking HMAS Sydney's (III) first voyage to Vietnam
Today marks 58 years since HMAS Sydney’s (III) first journey to Vietnam, the first of many voyages to transport thousands of troops, cargo and equipment during the Vietnam War.  The first voyage carried army and navy personnel, some 347 officers and men of the 1st Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment.  Escorted by HMAS Melbourne, HMAS Duchess and HMAS Parramatta, this was the first of 25 trips for Sydney, responsible for moving, supplying and maintaining Australian forces in Vietnam. Anchoring off Vung Tau for loading and unloading, she was nicknamed the ‘Vung Tau Ferry’.  More.....
26 May
Sunken US Navy WWII destroyer discovered off Okinawan coast
The U.S. Navy has identified a sunken ship off the coast of Okinawa, Japan, as the Sumner-class destroyer Mannert L. Abele, the first U.S. warship to sink on April 12, 1945, after it was hit with a Japanese suicide rocket bomb, according to the Naval History and Heritage Command.  “Mannert L. Abele is the final resting place for 84 American sailors who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of their country,” NHHC Director Samuel Cox said in a statement.  “Its discovery allows some closure to the families of those lost, and provides us all another opportunity to remember and honor them.”  More.....
26 May
Norway welcomes first US aircraft carrier visit in 65 years
The nuclear-powered USS Gerald R. Ford has become the first US aircraft carrier to visit Norway in the last 65 years.  The US Navy’s newest and most advanced aircraft carrier, the first-in-class ship of Ford Class aircraft carriers, made its port visit to Oslo in Norway while deployed at the US Naval Forces Europe area of operations on 24 May.  The last visit to Norway was made by the CVA-11 USS Intrepid Essex Class aircraft carrier, which docked in Oslo in July 1958.  More.....
26 May
When is a corvette not a corvette?
The defence strategic review highlighted the need for the Royal Australian Navy to have two levels of surface combatants to provide ‘increased strike, air defence, presence operations and anti-submarine warfare’.  While the DSR doesn’t directly recommend changes to the structure of the surface combatant fleet, it says:  ‘Enhancing Navy’s capability in long-range strike (maritime and land), air defence and anti-submarine warfare requires the acquisition of a contemporary optimal mix of Tier 1 and Tier 2 surface combatants, consistent with a strategy of a larger number of smaller surface vessels.’  More.....
25 May
U.K. Royal Navy ‘Distressed and Concerned’ by Illegal Chinese Salvage of WWII Wrecks
An illegal Chinese salvage operation is raiding two United Kingdom World War II warship wrecks off the coast of Malaysia for scrap steel, aluminum and brass fittings, prompting a statement of concern from the Royal Navy, USNI News has learned.  Chuan Hong 68 used a large dredging crane to pluck scrap from the wrecks of battleship HMS Prince of Wales (52) and battlecruiser HMS Repulse, according to local press reports.  Both were sunk on on Dec. 10, 1941, days after Pearl Harbor, by Japanese bombers, resulting in the loss of 840 sailors.  More.....
25 May
New role for Deputy Chief of Army
Deputy Chief of Army Major General Natasha Fox has been appointed the inaugural Chief of Personnel in the Australian Defence Force.  The Defence Strategic Review, released last month, recommended ADF personnel management be centralised into a single integrated system incorporating the five domains, headed by a Chief of Personnel reporting directly to the Chief of the Defence Force.  As Chief of Personnel, Major General Fox’s aim will be to increase the effectiveness, efficiency and cohesiveness of personnel management to achieve a more integrated ADF.  More.....
24 May
Paring back training time, beefing up skills
ADF chefs will receive the same training regardless of their service under a new streamlined format that will turn out job-ready Navy chefs, in particular, up to 10 months sooner.  The ADF School of Catering (ADFSC) “Purple Chef” training continuum will provide a joint-service catering and hospitality program that integrates the three services, in a departure from the former split format.  In one of the most significant developments in joint catering training in two decades, the format will particularly benefit sailors by allowing them to achieve Trained Force proficiency in a markedly reduced time.  More.....
24 May
Australia named in US Navy vertical launcher contract
Australia has been named in a US$195 million US Navy contract for MK 41 Vertical Launching Systems with Lockheed Martin.  Under the deal, Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems will supply the system modules and ancillary hardware for the US Navy (71 per cent), Canada (18 per cent), and Australia (11 per cent) under the foreign military sales program, according to details published by the US Department of Defense on 23 May.  The contract, to be completed by June 2027, also has additional options, which if exercised, would bring its cumulative value to US$643 million and push the completion date back to July 2030.  More.....
24 May
Veterans hit back at push to strip Afghan war medals
Veterans say a fresh attempt by the defence force chief to strip service medals from soldiers is unwarranted.  General Angus Campbell has written to a number of Afghanistan war veterans saying their honours for distinguished and conspicuous service could be stripped, the ABC has reported.  The proposition has landed on the desk of Defence Minister Richard Marles, who would need to make a recommendation to the governor-general.  More.....
24 May
Royal Australian Navy Fleet Command records 690 complaints of unacceptable behaviour in two years
Nearly 700 complaints about unacceptable behaviour – including sexual misconduct, bullying and harassment – within the Royal Australian Navy Fleet Command have been reported in the past two years.  More than a quarter of the reports in the past year were substantiated.  The data was revealed during a hearing at the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide in Perth on Monday.  More.....
23 May
A rendezvous at sea and above
HMAS Anzac recently rendezvoused with US Navy destroyer USS Chung-Hoon, sailing in company and conducting flying operations in the South China Sea.  It was a busy day for MH-60R pilot Lieutenant Damon Millichamp, who ensured the safe and efficient operation of Anzac’s helicopterduring the sortie, while conducting his first deck landing onto a foreign ship.  “The flight involved a maritime surface search and deck landing on board Chung-Hoon,” he said.  More.....
23 May
Navantia, SAES, Perseo announce development of unmanned vehicles
The autonomous underwater vehicle announcement was made during the FEINDEF 2023 international defence exhibition taking place in Madrid, Spain from 17 to 19 May.  An unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) prototype showcasing mine countermeasure mission, advanced sensor or loitering munition capability was exhibited at the event.  The line of UUVs are planned to be equipped with modern sensors to deploy exploration and surveillance capabilities.  More.....
23 May
Ship's mileage is out of this world
It’s equivalent to a trip to the moon and back and 23 times around the circumference of the Earth.  Although, near impossible to imagine, HMAS Toowoomba has completed half a million sea miles since commissioned.  After being welcomed into the Navy on October 8, 2005, Toowoomba was immediately called into service, completing its first operational deployment in December that year.  More.....
22 May
US launches new task force in Middle East to train naval partners
The US Navy today announced the launch of Task Force CTF 154, a new effort dedicated to training regional navies in the Middle East in order to “improve operational capabilities to enhance maritime security” in the region, according to a statement issued by the US Naval Forces Central Command.  CTF 154 will be the fifth regional task force to operate under the aegis of the US-led multinational partnership known as Combined Maritime Forces (CMF).  More.....
22 May
Update on Projects of Concern
The Australian Government has listed a new defence project as a Project of Concern: the Satellite Ground Station – East and Wideband SATCOM Network Management System.  While infrastructure for the project has been delivered, including three large ground antennae, it is facing ongoing schedule delays due to other technical challenges.  The project is designed to transform and improve new and existing Defence wideband ground stations and deployed systems across Australia to meet the increasing need for greater satellite communications capacity.  More.....
22 May
Happy crew, happy life
Lieutenant Commander Stephen Gaisford is the commanding officer of one of the Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) most frequently deployed vessels, HMAS Childers.  He falls back on the experience of a broad and eclectic career to ensure the spirit of his ship’s company stays high.  His career has spanned work as a paramedic, an Army helicopter pilot, a Holden test driver and even an Arnott’s biscuit factory worker among other roles.  More.....
22 May
Security and sustenance on Singapore agenda
HMAS Toowoomba played host in Singapore, welcoming international guests on board for warship tours and Australian culinary delights.  The tours featured on the schedule when Toowoomba represented the Royal Australian Navy at the International Maritime Defence Exhibition (IMDEX) Asia, alongside the Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Mark Hammond.  IMDEX coincided with the International Maritime Security Conference (IMSC), with both events jointly hosted by the Republic of Singapore Navy and S Rajaratnam School of International Studies.  More.....
20 May
AUKUS to Bring Benefits Beyond Indo-Pacific Submarine Operations
The AUKUS (Australia/UK/US) strategic partnering agreement will deliver significant benefits on top of the nuclear-powered attack submarine (SSN) capability the accord will provide in the first instance for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and the UK Royal Navy (RN), senior naval officers and government ministers told a RN conference in London.  The SSN capability will be provided by the SSN-AUKUS platform, a UK design concept that integrates US technology.  The platform is now in the design phase, the RN’s First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Ben Key told the ‘First Sea Lord’s Sea Power Conference 2023’, held in partnership with the Council on Geostrategy and King’s College London, at Lancaster House in London on 16-17 May.  More.....
19 May
Five Power Defence Arrangement exercise concludes
BS23 is an annual training exercise conducted between nations of the Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA) – Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and the United Kingdom.

19 May
$5.5 million boost to projects for veterans and families
Ex-service and community organisations are set to benefit from more than $5.5 million in grant funding to help deliver wellbeing projects and commemorative activities for veterans, defence personnel and their families.  Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Matt Keogh said he was particularly encouraged by the number of community groups recognising Vietnam veterans through Veteran Wellbeing Grants and Saluting Their Service Grants, 50 years since the end of Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War.  “I am pleased to announce that 57 organisations have been awarded a share in $3.5 million in funding under the Australian Government’s Veteran Wellbeing Grants program to support veterans and families,” Minister Keogh said.  More.....
19 May
Australia to provide surveillance drones to Philippines
Australia will provide surveillance drones and other high-tech gear to the Philippine coast guard and is considering whether to take part in joint patrols in the disputed South China Sea, Australia Foreign Minister Penny Wong said Thursday.  Wong, who held talks in Manila with her counterpart, Enrique Manalo, also thanked the Philippine government for its help in the discovery of a ship that sank during World War II in the northern Philippines, killing nearly a thousand Australians “in a very sad chapter in our history.”  More.....
19 May
CTF 70 hosts Royal Australian Navy Supply Sailors aboard USS Ronald Reagan
Commander, Task Force 70 hosted culinary and logistics specialist sailors from the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) aboard the U.S. Navy’s only forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) from May 12-19.  Sailors from RAN sailed aboard Ronald Reagan for the week to exchange knowledge with U.S. Navy Sailors in their career field.  More.....
19 May
Navy and charity team up to thrill
A member of the public had the chance to experience what it’s like to be a Navy pilot, thanks to 723 Squadron.  Paula Jeff won a flight simulator experience at an event for Variety, the charity dedicated to supporting children and families facing illnesses, disadvantage or living with a disability.  On arrival at the 723 Squadron, Ms Jeff, her husband Roger, and friends Colin and Heather were given a short tour of the facility.  More.....
18 May
USS Canberra Will Join the U.S. Fleet in Australia to Honor Namesake
The future USS Canberra (LCS 30) will join the U.S. Navy active fleet on July 22 with the U.S. Navy’s first international commissioning ceremony at the Royal Australian Navy Fleet Base East in Sydney, Australia.  Canberra is the first U.S. Navy warship to be commissioned in an allied country. It is the second U.S. Navy ship to bear the namesake of Canberra.  More.....
17 May
Five nations working as one
Exercise Bersama Shield – an annual military exercise between the five nations in the Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA) – concluded in Malaysia recently.  About 250 ADF personnel spent two weeks exercising with militaries from Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and the United Kingdom.  Taking place from April 27 to May 12, the exercise focused on combined joint operations in a multi-threat environment and included elements of land, sea and air.  More.....
17 May
Skills tested in multiple domains
Conducting a joint, combined exercise across land, air and maritime domains involves skilled operators and complex technology.  HMAS Anzac recently joined ships from the Royal Malaysian Navy and Republic of Singapore Navy at sea for the Five Power Defence Arrangements' (FPDA) Exercise Bersama Shield, working to enhance interoperability in a multi-threat environment.  Lieutenant Benn Van Balen was one of the principal warfare officers aboard HMAS Anzac responsible for conducting the battle on the surface, in the air and below the water.  More.....
17 May
Low vision brings high hopes
Going blind could turn your world upside down but, for Able Seaman Taryn Dickens, it fuelled her to push harder.  Diagnosed with degenerative cone rod dystrophy in 2019, Able Seaman Dickens was sent spiralling when she was considered not to be a ‘healthy person’.  Fast forward four years, the Canberra local was invited by Snow Australia to represent it in Para Snowsport, where she took part in her first biathlon rookie race at the ParaNordic Games in Utah in March.  Placing second, she described her experience as “humbling, heartbreaking and eye-opening”.  More.....
16 May
Royal Australian Navy decommissions HMAS Shepparton and Benalla from fleet
Two of the Royal Australian Navy's oldest serving ships have kissed the wharf for the final time on duty.  HMAS Shepparton and HMAS Benalla, which were launched in Adelaide in 1989 and 1990, were the last of the Paluma class ships.  The hydrographic survey ships have been based at HMAS Cairns tasked with surveying the sea floor of northern Australia.  The crews held a farewell barbecue cruise around Fitzroy Island on HMAS Benalla before casting warps onto HMAS Cairns in a special ceremony, featuring salutes and water cannons, on Monday.  More.....
16 May
Industry makes renewed calls for expanded naval capabilities
Defence industry is rallying to hold government’s feet to the fire over its recognition that Navy requires more firepower and faster, two questions remain: will government heed the expertise, and will they make a decision in time?  As an island nation, Australia’s sovereignty, security, and prosperity is intrinsically linked to our maritime surrounds and the uncontested and unmolested access to the global maritime commons.  This reality is critically important in the light of mounting regional and global naval build ups and is the driving force behind the nation’s pursuit of the trilateral AUKUS agreement which will deliver the nation’s nuclear-powered submarine fleet, which has drawn extensive attention both at home and abroad.  More.....
16 May
New audit puts Hunter Class frigates under the microscope
A new Australian National Audit Office report has put the future of the Hunter Class Frigate Program under the microscope with claims of mismanagement and delays.  The Auditor-General’s report warns the future frigate program, overseen by the Defence Department, is already experiencing an 18-month delay, additional costs, and failure to meet targets.  Under the program, the Department of Defence is acquiring the nine Hunter Class frigates worth $45.6 billion and constructing them at the Osborne Naval Shipyard in Adelaide.  More.....
16 May
U.S. Navy to boost rotations of ships, aircraft in Strait of Hormuz
The U.S. Navy and regional partners are bolstering the rotation of ships and aircraft in the Strait of Hormuz in an attempt to curb Iran’s efforts to upend security in the region.  The move comes after Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard seized the Marshall Islands-flagged oil tanker Advantage Sweet in the Gulf of Oman on April 27 and the Panamanian-flagged oil tanker Niovi in the Strait of Hormuz on May 3.  Over the past two years, Tehran has either “harassed, attacked or interfered with the navigational rights” of 15 internationally flagged merchant vessels, the Navy said in a news release.  More.....
15 May
Self-defence missile being developed for submarines
German defence manufacturers are developing a submarine guided missile system for self-defence against airborne anti-submarine warfare threats such as helicopters.  The Interactive Defense and Attack System for Submarines or IDAS missile is being developed by German weapon manufacturer Diehl Defence and ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TMS) in an IDAS consortium.  Traditionally, submarines have been vulnerable to airborne threats such as anti-submarine helicopters equipped with sonar and torpedoes.  More.....
15 May
Chinese Warships Circle Japan Ahead of G-7 Summit
A People’s Liberation Army Navy surface action group is continuing its circumnavigation of Japan ahead of the annual G-7 summit later this month in Hiroshima.  The surface action group – which includes cruiser CNS Lhasa (102), destroyer CNS Guiyang (119), frigate CNS Zaozhuang (542) and fleet oiler CNS Taihu (889) – was sighted at midnight on Thursday sailing southwest in an area 56 miles east of Sumisu Island, part of the Izu Island chain that lies south of Japan’s capital of Tokyo. The SAG then sailed west between Sumisu Island and the island of Tori-Shima, according to the Joint Staff Office of Japan’s Ministry of Defense.  More.....
14 May
80th Anniversary of the sinking of AHS Centaur
80 years ago today, Australian Hospital Ship (AHS) Centaur was sunk by a Japanese submarine off the coast of Queensland.  When Centaur departed Sydney on 12 May 1943, there were more than 300 people on board – sadly only 64 survived the sinking.  Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Matt Keogh said this attack resulted in the nation’s worst loss of life from an enemy submarine attack during the Second World War.  “The sinking of AHS Centaur was an unspeakable attack on an unarmed ship working to assist those injured during the war, and today we pause and pay tribute to all those who were on board at the time of the attack,” Minister Keogh said.  More.....
10 May
Improving opportunity in the Philippines
Lieutenant Commander Alison Zilko’s first job in the Royal Australian Navy was as a nursing officer, so it’s no surprise she was a perfect fit for the gender adviser (GENAD) role on Exercise Balikatan 2023.  Over the course of the exercise, Lieutenant Commander Zilko travelled far and wide to meet with community leaders, military personnel, social workers, chaplains, teachers and students across the Philippines to understand and improve opportunities – for women and communities alike.  Lieutenant Commander Zilko explained how the GENAD role operated with a multi-pronged approach to interact with leadership as well as at the grassroots level.  More.....
09 May
HMAS Cerberus Redevelopment
The $466mil HMAS Cerberus Base Redevelopment project commenced in 2018 and has all but completed so it is timely that the final video update is now available.  The Redevelopment Project officer, CMDR Cameron Eastman OAM RAN, has spent the past 15 years of his career watching the redevelopment come to fruition.  So, sit back, grab a cup of tea (the video does run for about 10mins) and enjoy this final video update highlighting some final changes since our last video update earlier this year and a general recap of some of the redevelopment accomplishments.

09 Maybr /> Blue Whale - Israel Aerospace Industries
BlueWhale is intended for covert intelligence-gathering operations, to detect submarines and gather acoustic intelligence. The large AUV has successfully conducted thousands of hours of submerged and autonomous operation.

09 May
Further investments to support veterans and families
The Albanese Government is investing an additional $328.1 million in the 2023-24 Budget to support the more than 340,000 veterans and dependants accessing services through the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA).  This builds on the $537.5 million invested in the October 2022 Budget as part of the Albanese Government’s commitment to ensuring a better future for veterans and their families.  The 2023-24 Federal Budget makes significant investments that will further reduce the veteran compensation claims backlog inherited from the former government.
This includes:.....
09 May
Investing in Australia's national defence
Australia is facing the most difficult strategic circumstances since the Second World War. To meet these challenges we must invest in Defence, including through the acceleration of important capabilities and activities, and the reprioritisation of those which are no longer fit for purpose.  Building on the Albanese Government’s commitment to implement the recommendations of the Defence Strategic Review, and to commence the work to deliver Australia’s nuclear-powered submarine program, Defence spending as a proportion of GDP will lift above its current trajectory to be 0.2 per cent higher by 2032-33.  More.....
09 May
Breaking down barriers through fitness
They call him the ‘combat wombat’, resembling the stout, sturdy marsupial – stocky in build with the ability to travel short distances quickly.  Petty Officer Mitchell Morton is a physical training instructor who works alongside the Fijian Army supporting the Multinational Force & Observers in the Sinai Peninsula, Egypt.  He gets up at 4.30am each day and sets up for the 6am class he instructs at the gymnasium.  Petty Officer Morton sneaks in a coffee before everyone arrives, then delivers a class that has his clients grimacing through clenched teeth.  More.....
08 May
Heroic crew remembered 25 years on
The heroic actions of the crew on board HMAS Westralia 25 years ago were remembered at a memorial service at HMAS Stirling last week.  On May 5, 1998, soon after departing HMAS Stirling, a devastating fire broke out in the ship’s engine room. Despite the fire eventually being brought under control, Midshipman Megan Pelly, Petty Officer Shaun Smith, Leading Seaman Bradley Meek and Able Seaman Phillip Carroll succumbed to the smoke that engulfed the engine space.  More.....
08 May
Leut Ian Desmond RHODES CGMLeut. Ian Desmond Rhodes CGM
Ian Desmond Rhodes (Laurie-Rhodes) was born on 19 August 1912 at Ongaonga, near Waipawa, New Zealand, the younger son of Albert Victor Laurie-Rhodes, a sheep-farmer from Victoria, and his New Zealand-born wife Agnes.  In 1920 the family settled in Victoria and Ian was educated at Geelong Church of England Grammar School where he did well in sport, especially Australian Rules football.

Using the surname Rhodes, he attempted to enlist in the Army, Navy and Air Force on the outbreak of World War II, but was rejected because of a stomach ulcer.  A sympathetic medical examiner cleared him for service on 17 September 1940 and he entered the Royal Australian Naval Volunteer Reserve as an Ordinary Seaman under the British Admiralty's yachtsmen scheme.  Rhodes was immediately posted to Britain for further training at HMS Collingwood, before joining the destroyer HMS Kashmir on 1 April 1941.

On 23 May, Kashmir, together with HMS Kelly and HMS Kipling, were sailing to Egypt for refuelling when they came under heavy attack by German fighters and bombers.  Kashmir suffered a direct hit and was cut in half and began to sink rapidly.  When a German bomber machine-gunned both the rear section of the ship and members of her crew who were struggling in the sea, Rhodes left the port Oerlikon gun as the water rose around it and climbed to the nearby starboard gun.  Turning this weapon against the attacking bomber, he shot it down in flames. 
Continue reading this fascinating story in our Hero section.....
07 May
Australia supports French led Pacific disaster relief exercise
More than 240 Australian Defence Force (ADF) and Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) personnel have returned from New Caledonia after participating in Exercise Croix du Sud 2023.  Led by the French Armed Forces in New Caledonia (FANC), Croix du Sud is a Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) multilateral exercise which prepares partner nations to respond to HADR operations in the Pacific region.  ADF cooperation with the FANC in New Caledonia is central to our relationship with France in the Pacific, who make important contributions to regional security and stability, particularly in responding to HADR events.  More.....
07 May
An extraordinary day to remember
The Australian Defence Force took pride of place in the Coronation of their Majesties King Charles III and Queen Camilla.  The King and Queen were crowned in a ceremony at Westminster Abbey in front of thousands of guests, including Corporal Daniel Keighran VC and Keith Payne VC who formed part of the Order of Chivalry procession.  “It was a huge privilege to have played even a small part in the service, and an absolute honour to be there with Keith representing our brave service men and women past and present,” Corporal Keighran said.  More.....
06 May
Aussie aircrew join royal flypast
Two proud Australians are flying over Buckingham Palace in a flypast involving 68 aircraft for the Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III.  Waving down at the thousands cheering on the newly-crowned King and Queen will be Royal Australian Air Force Warrant Officer Paul Shepherd and Royal Australian Navy Lieutenant Daniel Cochrane.  Both members are currently on exchange in the United Kingdom, embedded with British military squadrons.  More.....
06 May
Thank you for being here
Britain’s Defence Services Secretary, Major General Eldon Millar, has thanked Australian and Commonwealth troops taking part in Saturday’s Coronation Procession at a special ceremony at Pirbright Army Training Centre in south west England.  More than 600 soldiers, sailors and aviators from 39 Commonwealth countries form the contingent that will lead the Procession from Westminster Abbey down The Mall to Buckingham Palace.  The contingent marched onto the Pirbright parade ground in front of the world’s media before being presented with a special commemorative coin marking the Coronation of King Charles III.  More.....
06 May
Vietnam government furious about release of Australian commemorative war coins
Vietnam's communist government has demanded Australia cease issuing commemorative coins that, it says, show the flag of the toppled US-backed South Vietnam, a claim Canberra has denied.  In April, the Royal Australian Mint issued 85,000 sets of gold and silver $2 coins to mark the 50th anniversary of Australian troops withdrawing from southern Vietnam.  South Vietnam's yellow and red flag was banned by the Vietnamese government.  More.....
006 May
New agency and new regulator to deliver Australia's nuclear-powered submarine program
The Albanese Government will establish a new agency and a new regulator as part of its commitment to delivering Australia’s conventionally-armed, nuclear-powered submarines.  The Australian Submarine Agency (ASA) will be established by Executive Order and be responsible and accountable for the management and oversight of Australia’s nuclear-powered submarine program.   Australia’s acquisition of conventionally-armed, nuclear-powered submarines through the AUKUS partnership will be critical to ensuring our Defence Force has the capabilities needed to keep Australians safe.  em> More.....
05 May
Australia requests towed array tech to detect submarines
The US State Department has approved a possible US$207 million foreign military sale of towed sensor array equipment for the Australian government.  Under the sale, Australia would receive Surveillance Towed Array Sensor System Expeditionary (SURTASS-E) mission systems for vessels of opportunity, related equipment, a shore processing mission system, spare SURTASS passive acoustic array, classified and unclassified software, publications and support.  The Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified the US Congress of the possible sale on 4 May.  More.....
05 May
Australia Considering Modular C-Dome For Arafura OPVs
The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) is in talks to procure a containerised variant of Rafael's C-Dome in an effort to increase the firepower of its future Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV).  Naval News understands that discussions to procure the system are ongoing as Australia works to fulfil what has been described as an ‘urgent’ operational requirement.  Rafael unveiled the new version of C-Dome during IMDEX 2023, describing it as a response to emerging market demands.  At its most basic the system consists of a container-mounted radar and Combat Management System (CMS) paired with modular packs that contain ten C-Dome interceptors each.  More.....
05 May
Israeli firm reveals unmanned submarine BlueWhale
Israel Aerospace Industries has developed a new unmanned submarine, the BlueWhale, designed for covert intelligence-gathering operations, the company said May 4.  The underwater vehicle is almost 11 meters long and just over 1 meter in diameter.  Coming in at 5.5 tons (11,000 pounds), the platform can fit in a 40-foot shipping container for transport by land, sea or air.  The size of the vessel is similar to deep-submergence vehicles or so-called crewed midget submarines.  It can travel at up to 7 knots underwater, and using electrical power, the submarine can operate for two to four weeks, depending on the mission, the company said.  More.....
05 May
German Navy Announces New Pacific Deployments as Global Navy Chiefs Call for More Pacific Cooperation
The German Navy will deploy a frigate and a combat support ship to the Indo-Pacific in 2024, German Navy Chief Vice Adm. Jan Christian Kaack announced at the International Maritime Security Conference (IMSC) 2023 Thursday.  “We are looking forward to joint operations and exercises with our partners in the region,” Kaack said.  The mission of the two-ship task force will include freedom of navigation operations with partner navies in the South China Sea. At the same conference, senior naval leaders in the Indo-Pacific called for greater collaboration between naval forces to offset the problem of scarcity of resources and diminishing fleets due to budget constraints and costs.  More.....
05 May
Exercise spans sea, land and sky
Exercise Bersama Shield, the maritime element of the Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA), began in seas off Malaysia recently.  An opening ceremony and planning meetings were conducted in the lead-up to HMAS Anzac’s departure from Singapore, where the ship’s company enjoyed a port visit and commemorated Anzac Day at a local dawn service.  Commanding Officer Anzac Commander David McPherson was designated Commander Task Group of the participating ships, which will conduct a series of exercises to improve interoperability and build on longstanding relationships.  More.....
05 May
A missing link inspires lieutenant
Lieutenant Sarah Lucinsky was honoured to stand on the same land her grandfather and two great-uncles fought on during World War 2.  The Royal Australian Navy officer learnt of her rich military family history after a freedom of information request to the New Zealand Defence Force.  “My grandfather, Maurice French Lucinsky, served with the New Zealand Defence Force in the 25th Battalion in Egypt in 1942,” Lieutenant Lucinsky said.  More.....
05 May
Australia secures anti-ship missile capability
The Albanese Government has committed $180 million over the next 5 years to modernise the anti-ship missile defence capabilities on Royal Australian Navy ships.  Rheinmetall Defence Australia signed a contract to build Multi-Ammunition Soft-Kill System (MASS), to equip Anzac Class frigates and Hobart Class destroyers with anti-ship missile protection.  The system provides an electromagnetic decoy to protect the naval ships from sensor-guided missiles.  More.....
05 May
Honoured to be part of history
Able Seaman Tammy Vaughn’s Nan will be watching the TV closely this weekend as her granddaughter marches through the streets of London as part of the King’s Coronation procession.  She will be marching alongside 38 of her peers in Australia’s Federation Guard as part of a contingent of Commonwealth nations in the procession that will take the newly crowned King and Queen to and from Westminster Abbey.  Able Seaman Vaughn said she feels honoured and proud to be part of this historic moment.  More.....
05 May
Officer hopes to inspire with 50 years of service
When Commander Bertram Slape enlisted in the Navy as a general-entry sailor in 1972, he fulfilled a childhood ambition and laid the foundations for a long and successful career.  “As a kid growing up in Adelaide I always wanted to join the Navy,” Commander Slape said.  After clocking up five decades of service, Commander Slape was presented with a Federation Star and certificate of appreciation by Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Mark Hammond in a ceremony at Fleet Headquarters in Sydney on April 10.  More.....
04 May
Queensland to manufacture new bomb disposal robots
The Albanese Government has signed a $46 million contract with a Queensland company to deliver up to 80 new explosive ordnance disposal robots for Australia’s sailors, soldiers and aviators.  The new robots, to be manufactured by L3Harris Micreo, will carry cameras and sensors that have an improved ability to find, examine and neutralise improvised explosive devices and explosive hazards.  More.....
04 May
Centenary torch lights up in Albany
The Legacy Centenary Torch Relay arrived in Albany, Western Australia, on May 3 at the start of its six-month journey across Australia to celebrate 100 years since the Legacy promise was made.  The relay was launched in Pozières, France, on April 23, and travelled via Belgium to London before arriving in Albany.  The torch will travel 50,000 km over the next six months, carried by 1500 torch bearers as it visits every Legacy Club on its journey to the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne on October 13, where Legacy was founded.  More.....
04 May
Choppers hone sub-hunting skills
Navy’s anti-surface and submarine-hunting warfare helicopters provided valuable training for aircrew and maintainers during Exercise Tigerfish.  The two-week exercise focused on the employment of live weapons and increasing proficiency in maritime combat helicopter operations.  Commanding Officer 816 Squadron Commander Nigel Rowan said the exercise was crucial in advancing the MH-60R capability and increasing the lethality of its operational aircrew.  More.....
04 May
Jumping ship for desert deployment
A lot of work goes in to making sure a deployed network is up and running, but for Able Seaman Akshay Gomez-Jackson, keeping the lines of communication open is a challenge he delivers on.  Usually posted to HMAS Stirling, Able Seaman Gomez-Jackson was keen to jump ship and into a position to support communications on Operation Accordion after hearing great first-hand stories from a fellow sailor.  “He said it was one of the best experiences in his life, and he met some really cool people to hang out with,” Able Seaman Gomez-Jackson said.  More.....
03 May
Mastering nerve-wracking manoeuvres
Junior Navy officers had the chance to apply their ship-handling training in the Timor Sea while deployed on Operation Resolute.  The officers on board HMAS Broome and Australian Defence Vessel Cape Naturaliste conducted officer-of-the-watch manoeuvres, an essential sailing skill.  Midshipmen Jin You and David Courts, both stage 3 surface warfare officer trainees, conducted the manoeuvres within Broome.  More.....
02 May
Proud, professional and happy to be home
Navy frigate HMAS Perth has returned home to a warm welcome from friends and family after three months away.  During the deployment, Perth performed border protection duties as part of Operation Resolute and participated in Exercise La Perouse, a multinational exercise with Indo-Pacific regional partners.  Therecently upgraded Anzac-class frigate’s service in Operation Resolute was part of the ADF’s contribution to protecting Australia's borders and offshore maritime interests under Australian Border Force.  More.....
02 May
Government invests in our future Defence Force
Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel could be eligible for a $50,000 bonus payment for ongoing service, as part of the Albanese Labor Government’s commitment to investing in the growth and retention of a highly-skilled Defence workforce.  One of the six immediate priority areas identified in response to the Defence Strategic Review is the need to both grow and retain our ADF personnel.  The Albanese Government is moving to immediately respond to the Review by investing approximately $400 million to establish a Continuation Bonus initiative.  More.....
02 May
Australia’s DSR: Navy Signals Shift Towards Smaller Ships
Australia's Defence Strategic Review (DSR) has effectively postponed decisions on the future makeup of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), pending the outcome of a new surface combatant review.  The review isn't expected to report until September this year but the Australian Minister for Defence, Richard Marles, has already hinted at a major shakeup of the surface fleet.  Speaking to reporters, Marles commented on the DSR’s finding that Australia needs to embrace a two-tiered system of surface combatants, suggesting that there is a global trend towards a larger number of smaller ships.  More.....
01 May
‘National defence’ and the Navy
The 2023 Defence Strategic Review (DSR) identifies itself as ‘the most substantial and ambitious approach to Defence reform recommended to any Australian government since the Second World War’.  It maps out a pivot for the national defence strategy from the defence of Australia to the defence of Australian interests, or ‘national defence’.  In the lead up to the review’s release, Defence commentators commonly formed the view that it would prioritise the maritime domain at the expense of more conventional land capabilities, likely recommending significant changes to the Royal Australian Navy’s surface fleet structure.  More.....
01 May
Legacy torch sets off on six-month journey
The Legacy Centenary Torch Relay has begun in Pozières, France marking the start of a journey to celebrate 100 years since the Legacy promise was made.  The relay will have 1500 bearers carry the torch through 50 towns and cities, visiting all Legacy Australia clubs. The relay is moving from France via Belgium to London, before making its way to Albany in Western Australia this Wednesday, May 3.  Legacy Centenary Torch Relay ADF Liaison Officer Colonel Scott Clingan recited the Ode of Remembrance at the opening ceremony at the Pozières British cemetery in France and said the significance of the ceremony was profound.  More.....
01 May
Friendly gathering follows exercise
HMAS Perth recently hosted military counterparts while in Singapore after completing Exercise La Perouse in the Bay of Bengal.  When heading into Singapore with other participating ships – for respite and replenishment – Perth welcomed aboard personnel from partner nations, including several US Navy officers, for an operations brief and tour.  The visit was also a special reunion for Executive Officer Lieutenant Commander Grant Hamilton, who had worked with the Commanding Officer of USS Charleston while on exchange in the USA.  More.....
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(What's happening around Victoria)
Please refer to our Calendar
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events listed below.

05 May – 1230 – HMAS Castlemaine Service – Shrine Sanctuary

07 May – 1200 – Battle of the Coral Sea Service – Shrine Cenotaph

20 May – 1130 – Battle of Crete & Greek Service – Shrine – Cenotaph

22 May – 1900 – NHSA meeting – Waverley RSL

31 May – 1100 – Victorian Aboriginal Remembrance Service – Shrine – Cenotaph

14 Jun – 1200 – NWOA luncheon – Angliss Restaurant

18 Jun – 1100 – N Class destroyers Service – Shrine – Sanctuary

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