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September 17, 2009
HMAS Canberra ball
THE Victorian Artificial Reef Society is hosting an historical
sinking ball to commemorate the sinking of the ex-HMAS
Canberra on October 17 from 7pm at the Coral Atoll Room,
Melbourne Aquarium. Tickets are limited so early booking
is recommended and tickets are available now. For more
information visit www.hmascanberra.com.au or call the ticket
coordinator on (03) 5988 5508.
We want your stories!
THE editorial team encourages all sailors and officers to
contribute stories to Navy News for publication. Keep arti-
cles short and to the point (no more than 250-300 words) and
make sure all articles have been cleared by your CO or his/her
delegate. Send all articles and photos (high resolution) to the
Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org or Deputy Editor
at email@example.com. We'll handle all fur-
ther clearance from our end. Want to get something off your
chest? We also welcome letters to the editor. Send your letters
to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll forward them
to the appropriate area for a response. Questions, queries?
Don't hesitate to call on (02) 6266 7707.
Tartan terror turns seven
HMAS Stuart celebrated her 7th birthday on August 17. The
birthday celebration was conducted on the flight deck while
alongside Fleet Base East and was a welcome chance for
the ship's company to down tools and reflect on the vessel
they call home. At 118m in length she has a ship's company
of more than 190 personnel and was the fourth Australian
Anzac class ship to be commissioned. The second Australian
ship to carry the name, Stuart has been involved in multiple
operations including Relex, Resolute, Catalyst and Slipper.
During her seven years Stuart has been home to many and,
in that time, Stuart's chefs have served more than 1,376,000
meals! The ship's birthday cake was another example of their
excellent culinary skills. Stuart has just completed an SRA and
is beginning her workup period.
New holiday accommodation
The RANCCF has acquired a two bedroom villa only 20 min-
utes from Coolangatta Airport. The six-sleeper "Pandanus
Pocket" is located on the New Tweed Coast in northern NSW
and features a resort-style open area, which includes a barbe-
cue area, swimming pool, covered outdoor area, beach show-
ers and pedestrian access to 3.5km of white sandy beach. The
property will be rented on a weekly basis to Navy members
from Friday to Friday and will be available for bookings over
peak periods on a ballot system. A signal will be released
shortly to invite sailors to submit their bids for rental over the
peak periods from December 4, 2009 to February 5, 2010.
All bookings for Pandanus Pocket can be placed with the
RANCCF by emailing email@example.com or contacting
the RANCCF office on (02) 6266 4985.
THE newest version of the
Submarine Support Group (SSG)
has surpassed all of its predeces-
sors, according to COMSUBFOR
CDRE Steve Davies.
"The SSG was created because
of the need to cap, where possi-
ble, the number of hours worked
by submarine crews while along-
side -- to allow greater opportunity
for shore respite," CDRE Davies
"The idea has been around for
many years in various adaptations,
but this new version is definite-
ly working better than anything
before, not only for the submarine
crews but for the entire subma-
rine workforce including the SSG
The SSG aims to provide a
pool of trained personnel with a
range of skills. The SSG's comple-
ment reflects that of a submarine
crew, with most departments and
individual positions. However, it
is considered a pool of personnel
rather than a submarine crew.
Individuals are available to
assist submarine crews with duty
watches for added respite during
periods of intensive workload,
including maintenance periods,
on return from long deployments
and allowing ships' companies to
undertake commitments like train-
ing or recreation.
Recently SSG assisted HMA
Ships Collins and Waller during
major dockings at Henderson in
WA. Reports regarding the serv-
ice have been extremely positive.
Future plans are to provide assist-
ance with the docking of HMAS
Farncomb at Henderson and
Collins in Adelaide.
As well as the latest office
upgrades on Diamantina wharf,
the area designated as the laun-
dry will be renovated soon with
12 new DRN work stations and
refitted to accommodate a suit-
able open office format. When
completed in 2011, this will allow
for the expansion of the organisa-
tion in line with the intent to grow
crew "four" from within the SSG
structure as newly qualified per-
sonnel come online.
With increasing numbers of
trainees and a limit in the number
of available platforms, SSG mem-
bers are also able to assist with
alongside training to reduce train-
ing workloads on ships' compa-
All members posted to the
SSG are required to have a
Submarine Safety Assessment
Task Book (SSATB) and Combat
Survivability certification in date
SSG working well
before carrying out any of the
duties on board submarines.
"The ability for DSCM to post
people to SSG to accomplish this
is a great asset and reduces the
workload once again on crews,"
LSMTSM Lain McLean of the
"Until recently, crews would
have had to cover the duty require-
ment for a new member posting
until completion of their SSATB;
members posting directly from
SSG arrive already 'booted and
"I have been a member of the
organisation for a few months but
witnessed the assistance SSG pro-
vides when I was a member of
Collins during the docking period
earlier this year.
"I would recommend anyone
who needs a break from being
directly at sea to consider a short-
term posting here to recuperate.
Longer term postings to SSG are
an alternative to perhaps time in
an FSU billet and are an equally
worthwhile step in one's career,"
LSMTSM McLean said.
GOOD FORM: The
newest version of the
Group has surpassed its
to COMSUBFOR CDRE
Steve Davies. Here,
HMAS Collins returns
to Fleet Base West after
a transit from Albany in
September last year.
Photo: LSPH Nadia Moneith
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