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April 15, 2010
By Michael Brooke
COMMANDING Officers and
crews of ACPBs, LCHs and MHCs
involved in the Minor War Vessel
Concentration Period (MWVCP)
are preparing to conduct a highly
challenging collective training
activity with a unique collection of
ships and capabilities.
Commander Sea Training (CST)
MWV, CMDR Alex Hawes, told
Navy News the MWVCP would be
conducted from May 24 -- June 4
from HMAS Coonawarra amid the
high tempo demands of Op Resolute
off northern Australia.
"We will be in an environment
where real pressures are combined
with resolve to achieve collective
training objectives," he said.
CMDR Hawes said as many as
nine MWVs, two 109A helicop-
ters from 723 SQN and support
craft from Coonawarra would be
involved in MWVCP.
"The period aims to enhance and
continue development of general
warfare and in-company competen-
cies for MWVs within a structured
training environment," he said.
The MWVCP involves a com-
prehensive shore phase, including
off-watch ACPBs maximising the
training benefit and involvement of
CMDR Hawes said the shore
phase would allow MWV sailors
from Sydney, Cairns and Darwin to
unite in a common aim and catch up
with old mates.
"Ships' companies will be given
the opportunity to compete in a
sports day against each other in an
enjoyable environment," he said.
In addition to a serialised pro-
gram, the sea phase participants will
be challenged by a free play period
which, through an induced scenario,
will challenge the command teams
and ships' companies to integrate as
a force to achieve the mission.
CMDR Hawes said that, without
giving the game away, the sea phase
would challenge the participating
MWVs and their ships' companies
to work together towards multiple
priorities within a multi-threat envi-
"I'm very much looking forward
to seeing how they will collectively
deal with the challenging scenario,"
CST MWV said his team would
embark in all ships during the sea
phase to provide 'best practice'
training and mentoring for COs and
MOST Australians aspire to travel to
Gallipoli at some point in their life to
be a part of the Anzac Day commemo-
rations on the shores of Anzac Cove.
For most Australians the dream to play
a pivotal role in the official ceremony is
impossible to realise.
For DGCHAP-N, Principal Chaplain
Garry Lock, however, the once in a
lifetime possibility is now reality as he
prepares to head over to Turkey to pre-
side over the official ceremony as the
Australian Chaplain on April 25.
What was your reaction when you
discovered it was Navy's turn and
therefore your turn to preside over the
It is certainly a privilege to be able to
participate in the services on the day, and
is a rare opportunity.
What will be your role during the offi-
cial Anzac Day ceremony in Gallipoli?
I'll be leading a couple of the prayers
during the main Dawn Service and then
leading the service at Lone Pine.
How do you prepare for such a high
profile occasion with the audience size
this ceremony attracts?
The Department of Veterans' Affairs
have carriage of the day in Gallipoli, and
I have been working with them on the
service itself. I will also be working with
my New Zealand counterpart, Principal
Chaplain Don Parker.
What does it mean to you to be in
Gallipoli for Anzac Day and to play
such a pivotal role in the ceremony?
It will be interesting, enjoyable and
a special moment. For me it is vital that
we engage with each other as a nation
and remember Gallipoli and other events
in the conflicts of our past and present.
We need to tell our stories, listen to the
moment, and carefully and in a most dig-
nified manner remember what the sacri-
fice of all these young people means for
RAN chaplain off
How does your family feel about your
involvement? Will they be there with
My family think this is great. Ann, my
wife, is coming with me and is looking
forward to the experience.
Where does this occasion rate among
the highlights of your Naval career?
This is certainly a highlight. One of
the real privileges I have as a chaplain
is to be engaged in these very special
times in our national and personal life.
Chaplains often find themselves invited
into the very centre, the sacred space, of
people's lives at moments of great joy
or sadness. This is a bit like that but on a
Sailors ready for
CHALLENGING SCENARIO: Minor war vessels will soon converge on Darwin to participate in the
Minor War Vessel Concentration Period. Here, HMA Ships Norman and Yarra enter Fleet Base West for
Exercise Pacific Reach in 2007.
Photo: POIS Damian Pawlenko
HONOURED: Principal Chaplain
Garry Lock is heading to Gallipoli to
preside over the Dawn Service on
Photo: LSIS Phillip Cullinan
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