Home' Navy News : September 3rd 2009 Contents web: www.salt.asn.au
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September 3, 2009
HMAS Cairns (CMDR Bob Heffey)
opened her gangway to the public on
July 18 for the first time in more than
The open day attracted more than
3200 visitors to the recently-redeveloped
establishment, which has transformed
HMAS Cairns into a modern profes-
sional base with high-quality facilities to
enhance the operational support of the 14
fleet units based there.
During the open day, a range of Navy
activities were conducted, including sur-
vival at sea and weapons demonstrations,
clearance diving and communications
displays and boat rides on Trinity Inlet.
HMA Ships Leeuwin (CMDR Phil
Hiatt), Childers (LCDR Anita Sellick)
and Paluma (LCDR Mhanda Tokesi) sup-
ported the day by opening for public
tours on board the three different classes
Without doubt, the most popular
was HMAS Childers because of its ever
increasing public profile on the Nine
Network's Sea Patrol drama series.
HMAS Cairns personnel provided a
fun and relaxed family focused open day
that was enjoyed by everyone.
Cairns opens its gate
to far north QLD public
ON SHOW: Visitors at the HMAS Cairns open day check out HMAS
Leeuwin. HMA Ships Childers and Paluma also welcomed the public across
their gangways, giving fresh insight into Navy's work in far north
Photo: HMAS Cairns
FIRST pass approval has been given
for a new pilot training program for
In response to the Defence Capability
Plan released in July calling for a new
training system, AIR 5428 Phase One
will provide trainee pilots with the skills
to become pilots in the Navy.
Through flight screening and basic
and advanced training, the new system
will prepare Navy pilots with the skills
and qualifications to pilot the new naval
aviation and troop-lift helicopters.
Defence Minister John Faulkner said
that, over the coming decade, the ADF
planned to replace almost all of its air-
borne assets with the latest generation
aircraft, which would require a greater
number of pilots with more advanced
New pilot training model
By Barry Rollings
IT'S MORE than 30 years since
CPO Rodney Jackson was lost at
sea off HMAS Kimbla but the
memory of the day's events remain
fresh in the mind of Graeme "Blue"
On the last Friday of August
1979, HMAS Kimbla departed
Melbourne for Sydney with unex-
pected weather conditions resulting
in the loss of CPO Jackson, injuries
to four sailors, shock to the remain-
ing crew and damage to two Navy
As the ship altered to port to pass
around the end of the reef near Port
Phillip, the ship hit three standing
waves one after another.
The first filled the showers with
seawater, and 100lb galley gas cyl-
inders floated through the door. The
cylinders and brackets had been torn
from the screens, the cylinders in
the spare stowage had been washed
out, and the 200l engine oil drum's
12mm lashings had snapped.
Kimbla had plate steel garden
walls, rather than guardrails, to waist
height around the upper deck. Water
could not drain away quickly, and
the drums and gas cylinders were
bouncing around in the wash.
The first wave also flooded
the ventilation trunking, and sent
water out the Punkah Louvres. CPO
Jackson was drenched in the Chief's
Mess and came onto the portside
forward waist to try to prevent fur-
ABMTP Perry Johns, LSQMG
John Atkinson, LSUW Les Johnson
and some other sailors were on the
portside waist trying to re-secure
the equipment and stem the water
"'Jacko was an old-
school stoker and a
really nice bloke"
-- Graeme "Blue" Pocknee
"The second wave came through
and the real challenge was that the
waves were coming just off the port
bow, with green water on 01 deck,"
Mr Pocknee said.
"This meant that the water was
being funnelled into the square tube
formed by the deck head, screen,
garden wall and deck.
"John Atkinson yelled 'where's
Jacko'. I think it was Perry Johns
who pointed out to sea; John
Atkinson called 'man overboard'
and someone threw a life ring from
the bridge wing. Jacko was last seen
face down with blood around him in
"Later we realised that the
wardroom door was buckled with
a 50mm gap top and bottom. We
suppose it was the result of Jacko
Kimbla was unable to turn due
to the threat of capsize. The water
levels inside and outside the garden
walls were the same.
HMAS Buccaneer, which was
passed earlier heading into Port
Phillip, turned and searched for
Jacko, to no avail. Buccaneer lost
her bridge roof mast, all guardrails
forward of the bridge and sheered
the locking pin in the Bofors 40/60.
"'Jacko' was an old-school CPO
stoker, and a really nice bloke," Mr
"He was due to go on leave when
we arrived back in Sydney after
having been away from his Hobart-
based wife for almost six months.
Jacko was never found."
CPO Jackson lost
but not forgotten
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