Sister ships share final transit

HMAS Darwin and her younger sister HMAS Melbourne have shared their last moments together, showing the rest of the Navy that the guided missile frigates are still an impressive capability. The Adelaide class frigates have deployed concurrently with a number of other Australian Navy ships to the Asian region, however, Darwin’s program will see her decommission before Melbourne returns home from the deployment in December. Seizing the opportunity, Commanding Officer Darwin, Commander Phillip Henry, invited Melbourne, led by Commander Charles Bourne, to join them for some challenging Navy maneuvers. The…

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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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All aboard the at-sea ambulance

It was her first time at sea when Sub Lieutenant Lauren Beaufils had the opportunity to participate in a medical evacuation exercise onboard HMAS Adelaide, with the Indo-Pacific Endeavour 17 Task Group off the coast of Townsville. The Reserve Public Relations Officer was on her final phase of Reserve Entry Officers’ Course when the unique opportunity arose to be winched from a MRH-90 helicopter to HMAS Darwin and then return as a ‘patient’. Joining Sub Lieutenant Beaufils was Lieutenant Commander Brandon Ikimau, Fleet Operations Medical Staff Officer from Sea Training Group, who was overseeing the…

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US Naval Communication Station Harold E. Holt Celebrates 50 Years in Australia

It’s been 50 years since one of the key communications hubs for the submarine community opened its gates and created a remote Western Australian town in the process. More than 1,200 kilometers north of Perth, Naval Communication Station Harold E. Holt, in Exmouth, marked 50 years on 16 September with celebrations aplenty. Initially named U.S. Naval Communication Station North West Cape, the Station was renamed a year later in honor of the Australian Prime Minister Harold Holt who opened the facility but disappeared months later, assumed drowned. The Royal Australian…

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A Sirius milestone for replenishment ship

Auxiliary Oiler HMAS Sirius has reached a significant capability head mark, conducting her 500th replenishment at-sea on 7 September. HMAS Melbourne had the privilege of the milestone refueling, in an operation that also saw HMA Ships Parramatta and Toowoomba refueled in a triple replenishment operation. As a part of the multi-ship Indo-Pacific Endeavour deployment, Sirius is providing support for the largest Australian task group deployed in over 40 years. Within a 24-hour period, the crew of Sirius reinforced their reputation for great service when they replenished HMA Ships Adelaide, Darwin,…

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Proliferation security initiatives come to Cairns

Navy has been in the thick of Australia’s commitment to international proliferation security initiatives, helping host Exercise PACIFIC PROTECTOR 17 in Cairns. It was an early start for the officers and crew of HMAS Toowoomba as they made preparations to come alongside HMAS Cairns to provide support to the counter-arms proliferation activity which is part of efforts since 2003 to build capacity through a global effort to counter illicit trade in technology for weapons of mass destruction. Approximately 150 delegates from 21 different countries looked on from Toowoomba’s flight deck…

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Aussie Romeo flies through 10,000

Navy’s MH-60R Seahawk Romeo helicopters have passed the fleet milestone of 10,000 flying hours since the maturing capability began in December 2013 with 725 Squadron operating from Naval Air Station Jacksonville in the USA. Commodore Fleet Air Arm, Commodore Chris Smallhorn said the achievement was significant. “The fact that our Navy has achieved it in less than four years since commencing flying the type, while continuously accepting new aircraft, standing up new flights and progressing through the various transitions is a testament to the talent and professionalism of all involved…

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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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International engagement commences

The Australian Defence Force Joint Task Group, Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2017, has completed the first international engagement activity of the deployment. HMAS Adelaide, one of the Royal Australian Navy’s Canberra class amphibious ships, reached the milestone after recently conducting aviation training with the USS Bonhomme Richard off the east coast of Australia. The training involved both the SH60S Seahawk helicopter and a United States Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor, with a focus on flight deck familiarization for the United States Marine Corps aircrew and currency training for Adelaide’s aviation support sailors….

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Deployable Mine Countermeasures increase

The Royal Australian Navy is forging ahead with new technologies to counter the threat of sea mines to military and commercial vessels. The Head of Navy Capability, Rear Admiral Jonathan Mead, said the prevalence and increasing sophistication of sea mines means the Royal Australian Navy must continue to improve the way it finds and disposes of these mines. “New autonomous and remote-controlled technologies deployed from within the maritime task force provides the opportunity to find and dispose of sea mines more safely and efficiently,” Rear Admiral Mead said. “In the…

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Local Businesses Approved For Submarine Supply Chain

Turnbull Government and Naval Group Australia confirmed August 30th that 126 local businesses to date have been pre-qualified as eligible to take part in the supply chain for the $50 billion Future Submarine Program. Over the last twelve months, these businesses have been thoroughly assessed and deemed as capable of delivering the quality products, parts or services needed to deliver this vital project. Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, said that this clearly shows the Government is setting a cracking pace in ensuring maximum Australian industry involvement,…

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Pacific protection paramount in counter proliferation

The Australian Government is joining forces with countries from around the world to conduct Exercise PACIFIC PROTECTOR, as part of an ongoing major international commitment to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, their delivery systems and related materials. The exercise will be held in Cairns, Queensland from 6–9 September 2017 as part of the Proliferation Security Initiative, which is an effort by 105 partner countries to build networks, tools and capabilities to counter illicit weapons of mass destruction-related trade across the globe. Participants will take part in academic sessions, a table top…

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Australia – Upgrade Program for MH-60R Multi-Mission Helicopters

The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Australia for an upgrade program for MH-60R Multi-Mission Helicopters. The estimated cost is $360 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on August 30, 2017. The Government of Australia has requested a follow-on case for a possible ten-year upgrade program for twenty-four (24) MH-60R Multi-Mission Helicopters and associated training devices, spare and repair parts, support and test equipment, engineering and technical services, U.S. Government and contractor engineering,…

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Regional military cooperation strengthened

A group of warships departed Sydney on 4 September to participate in a series of key military exercises throughout the Indo-Pacific region – grouped as Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2017. Running from 4 September to 26 November, Indo-Pacific Endeavour will focus on enhancing military cooperation with some of Australia’s key regional partners including Brunei, Cambodia, the Federated States of Micronesia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Thailand, and Timor-Leste. More than 1,200 Australian Defence Force personnel will participate, which is being led by Canberra class amphibious ship…

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Navy in Vietnam Remembered

Commemorative services for Vietnam Veterans’ Day involving both current and former Royal Australian Navy members took place across the country recently with Navy’s Western Australian-based personnel attending services at War Memorials in Port Kennedy and the City of Joondalup. The Port Kennedy service was well attended and included children from local schools as well as many veterans. The service was again arranged by the Totally and Partially Disabled Veterans of WA with Executive Officer HMAS Stirling, Commander Milton Treeby, laying a wreath and personnel from Stirling forming the catafalque party….

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