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Australian Defence Credi t Union
April 15, 2010
By LEUT Gary McHugh
THE US Navy was in town recently
in the west as USS Ohio made a brief
port visit to HMAS Stirling.
Ohio (SSGN 726) is the first of the
Ohio class of nuclear powered subma-
rines of the US Navy Fleet.
Home-ported in Bremerton,
Washington, Ohio was commissioned
in 1981 and was the first in her class to
undergo extensive upgrades to sonar,
fire control and navigation systems.
Ohio is capable of carrying more
than 150 conventional Tomahawk
cruise missiles -- she is also able to
serve as an underwater command and
The 171m submarine is operated
on a dual-crewing system and is the
fourth ship to be named after the 17th
state of the Union.
The first USS Ohio was commis-
sioned in 1813, and was part of a
squadron commanded by CDRE Oliver
Western Australia has a close asso-
ciation with the US Navy with frequent
port visits by a number of taskforces
over the past few years.
This latest visit involved a brief
stopover at the homeport of the
Australian Submarine Force for Ohio's
154 officers and crew.
USS Ohio visits FBW
SILENT VISITOR: USS Ohio
arrives at Fleet Base West for
a short break from duties with
the US 7th Fleet.
Photo: ABIS Dove Smithett
By MIDN Stuart Dennis
JUST days before departing for
the MEAO, HMAS Parramatta's
CO, CMDR Heath Robertson, lit-
erally marked his ship's place in
the history books handing over a
unique artefact to the Australian
War Memorial's Research Centre
CMDR Robertson personally
delivered the Gun Crew's state board
from Parramatta's 2008-09 deploy-
ment on Op Catalyst, preserved with
patrol sectors around the oil plat-
forms, identified contacts, personnel
allocations for an upcoming RAS
and even shakes for the Boatswain
"The state board remains as it
was leading up to the final RAS the
ship completed before leaving the
area of operation bound for home,"
CMDR Robertson said.
The desirable artefact was
accepted on behalf of the AWMRC
by Assistant Curator Alexander Orr,
who was overjoyed at taking deliv-
ery of such an important piece of
contemporary military history.
"The first priority of the research
centre is to preserve the state board
in its original condition as best as
we can, so that the children and
grandchildren of the ship's company
are able to look at it in the future,"
Ms Orr said.
"Ideally, we would like to use
it in different ways to illustrate the
Parramatta makes her mark
story of the ship's deployment with-
in the gallery."
The state board was originally
identified in the ship by former head
of the research centre, Mal Booth,
in late 2008 when he visited the
ship in the Gulf and identified a
host of items of interest to the War
Parramatta's ship's company
previously gave the AWMRC a
ship's ball cap, tally band and a cata-
logue of documents from the ship as
well as the one of a kind Op Catalyst
Command Weight passed between
the RAN ships deployed to the Gulf.
"Contemporary items from the
most recent operations involving the
Australian military are very hard to
come by, so we are constantly on the
lookout and always welcome any-
thing that members may have hid-
den away in their cupboards," Ms
Parramatta left Fleet Base East
on March 15 heading for her deploy-
ment to Op Slipper, where the ship's
company have promised to save
more items that they can provide to
If you have items of interest, particularly
cruise books, t-shirts, posters or any-
thing you have saved from deployments,
and would like to donate them for pres-
ervation and research, contact the staff
at the AWMRC on (02) 6243 4315 or
PRECIOUS HISTORY: CO HMAS
Parramatta, CMDRHeath Robertson,
presents the AWM's Alexandra
Orr with the ship's Gun Direction
Platform state board used in Op
Photos: LSIS Phillip Cullinan
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