Newcastle Patrols Bass Strait Oil Rigs

February 28, 2019 – While transiting to Western Australia for Exercise OCEAN EXPLORER 2019, the guided missile frigate HMAS Newcastle separated from the OCEAN EXPLORER Task Group to undertake patrols of key oil infrastructure in the Bass Strait as part of Navy’s national maritime security commitment. Newcastle’s Commanding Officer, Commander Anita Sellick, described the importance of the patrols to the security of Australian maritime resources. “Royal Australian Navy ships and aircraft routinely patrol key oil and gas infrastructure as we undertake transits throughout the nation’s exclusive economic zone,” Commander Sellick…

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Cultural exchanges as Aussies and Japanese cross deck

September 30, 2018 – Royal Australian Navy sailors have tasted life at sea with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force as personnel from both services temporarily swapped places after Exercise Kakadu. On completion of the exercise, HMAS Newcastle and JS Sazanami DD-113 adjusted their programs to depart together from Darwin and conduct a Passage Exercise Program for three days. During those three days, six members from Newcastle conducted a cross deck with six members of JS Sazanami. Officers and sailors from JS Sazanami were given a tour of Newcastle and invited…

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Kakadu Task Groups Form Up

September 8, 2018 – The sea phase of Exercise Kakadu has shifted up a gear, with coalition ships beginning a series of challenging and complex maneuvers off the coast of the Northern Territory. Four ships from Australia, Singapore and China, rehearsed procedures for maneuvering warships so the units can confidently progress to more advanced scenarios. HMAS Newcastle’s Navigating Officer, Lieutenant Mitchell Smith, said operating closely together is the first building block for effective operations at sea. “Handling ships in close proximity is a fundamental part of being in a task…

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Novocastrians welcomed home in HMAS Newcastle

The boom of a seven-gun salute was a welcoming sound for the ship’s company of HMAS Newcastle as she returned to her namesake city for a port visit. To mark the guided missile frigate’s arrival, the first canon was fired from the historic Fort Scratchley by the ship’s Commissioning Lady, Margaret McNaughton. Hundreds of locals lined the foreshore for Newcastle’s entrance into the harbour as the seven-gun salute was returned with a round of volleys fired by members of ship’s company. Commanding Officer Newcastle, Commander Anita Sellick was among seven…

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Australian and French warships exercise off Darwin

When more than 25,000 tonnes of steel in the shape of three warships exercise in close proximity to each other, it is an impressive example of each crew’s warfighting and seamanship skills. That display occurred when HMAS Newcastle trained with French Navy Ships Dixmude and Surcouf off the coast of Darwin recently. Newcastle practiced gunnery serials, officer of the watch maneuvers, communication exercises and replenishment at sea approaches with the two French vessels over a four-day period. Commanding Officer of Newcastle, Commander Anita Sellick, said exercises and engagements with foreign…

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Exercise OCEAN EXPLORER comes to a close

The largest fleet training activity for 2018, Exercise OCEAN EXPLORER has come to a successful close in Jervis Bay this week. In keeping with tradition, the exercise concluded with a tri-nation sports day on the grounds at HMAS Creswell on Sunday, following a spectacular fleet arrival of ten ships and embarked aircraft. Task Group Commander, Captain Paul O’Grady said the three-week activity resulted in multiple ships and aircraft forged into a highly effective and cooperative warfighting team. “Most importantly it has seen more than 2,000 men and women from three…

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HMAS Newcastle Completes Last RAN FFG Middle East Deployment

HMAS Newcastle returned to her home port of Fleet Base East, Garden Island, Sydney, today following a six month deployment to the Middle East region. Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, welcomed 230 members of the ship’s company home from the deployment, which included counter-terrorism and counter-piracy patrols as part of the Combined Maritime Forces and a two-week attachment with the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet in the Arabian Gulf.

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HMAS Newcastle’s operations complete

HMAS Newcastle has rounded out her busy six-month deployment to the Middle East, completing some ‘firsts’ and ‘lasts’ for Australian Navy ships in the region. During her demanding deployment, she patrolled about 25,500 nautical miles or five times the distance around Australia. She conducted a range of Combined Maritime Forces operations, including an attachment in support of the USS Nimitz Carrier Strike Group, and trialed emerging naval capabilities. Commanding Officer, Commander Mark Sirois said the deployment included many highlights. “During our attachment to the US 5th Fleet and USS Nimitz…

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Soaring with Eagles

Launching a complex unmanned aerial system from stable ground is one thing, but Navy’s Lieutenant Simon Jeffery has made it his mission to launch them from a ship – a moving roller coaster at times. The 26-year-old Navy Pilot is currently deployed to Operation MANITOU onboard HMAS Newcastle. The ship’s primary mission is to contribute to the international effort to promote maritime security and stability in the Middle East region. Newcastle is the first Australian ship to deploy on the operation with a ScanEagle as part of her intelligence,…

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Sailor remembered in Madagascar

HMAS Newcastle’s crew have held the inaugural Australian Defence Force memorial service in Diego Suarez, Madagascar, for a Royal Australian Navy sailor lost during the Second World War. Able Seaman Steward John Frederick Ellis is the sole Australian buried at the city’s war cemetery after dying from illness in 1940. The service was led by Newcastle’s Chaplain Cornelius Bosch, with prayers read by ship’s company. The service was followed by a minute of silence and the laying of wreaths on his grave. “We gave thanks for John’s devotion to duty…

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HMAS Newcastle completes operations with US Fifth Fleet

HMAS Newcastle has completed an attachment with the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet in the Arabian Gulf while deployed on maritime security operations in the Middle East Region (MER). During the two-week attachment supporting the USS Nimitz Carrier Strike Group (CSG-11), Newcastle conducted escort operations and a range of naval manoeuvres with US Navy ships. Commander of Australian Forces in the Middle East, Major General John Frewen, said Newcastle’s role directly supported the international effort to ensure a free and open global maritime trading system covering some of the world’s most…

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New meets old in Jordan

HMAS Newcastle has completed a five-day port visit alongside Aqaba, Jordan, after her second counter terrorism patrol of Middle Eastern waters. The visit was the first by an Australian warship since 2013 and provided an excellent opportunity to strengthen ties with Jordanian partners while experiencing the amazing culture and historical significance of the nation. Newcastle’s Commanding Officer, Commander Mark Sirois, said the ship’s company had recently completed patrols of the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea. “We were honored to host the Commander of…

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New headphones music to the ears

  Bluetooth headsets could soon be introduced onto the bridges of Australian frigates thanks to the enterprise and innovation of two young engineers onboard HMAS Newcastle. Weapons Electrical Engineer Officers Lieutenants Jeffery Mandryk and Addison Clune, researched and developed a pair after concerns were raised over the safety of the cabled models. Officers of the watch, who wear the headsets to speak with ships’ operations rooms, were concerned with the 10 metres of cable that dragged behind them that restricted maneuverability around the bridge and posed a trip hazard, especially at night. Newcastle’s…

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