Home' Navy News : May 27th 2010 Contents Fleet Network Pty Ltd D/L No. 20462
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SINK YOUR TEETH
May 27, 2010
By ABCIS Melanie Schinkel
HMAS Tarakan (LEUT Kevin
Whatling) recently assisted the
RAN Dive School (CMDR Ashley
Shanks) with explosive ord-
nance disposal (EOD) training on
Triangular Island in the Shoalwater
Bay Training Area (SWBTA).
Tarakan transferred provisions
with HMAS We w a k (LEUT Robert
Smilie) in Townsville before sailing
to Sabina Point on April 29, howev-
er, due to tidal restrictions only had
a two-hour timeframe to embark 43
clearance diving staff and trainees
and 24 pallets of explosive ordnance
The ship's company loaded the
heavy explosive stores by forklift
before everything was offloaded by
the RAN Dive School trainees at
Tarakan's CO, LEUT Whatling,
said it had been three years since
the ship's company had collaborated
with the RAN Dive School in an
"Overall the purpose of this
training was to ensure clearance
divers and trainees received the best
possible training in dealing with live
EOD in a controlled environment.
We wanted to take advantage of the
opportunity to conduct 'hands on'
training," LEUT Whatling said.
"This exercise exposed the crew
to the procedures of handling and
storing EO on the tank deck, manag-
ing embarked forces and equipment,
and maintaining core amphibious
skills such as beachings and drying
out. Exercises like this also increase
interaction and awareness of other
Tarakan conducted her first
beaching at Sabina Point on May 1
with all personnel and EO embarked,
and the LCH off the beach, within
just 55 minutes. Living up to her
motto 'Nothing Daunts', a second
beaching and subsequent drying out
was also conducted.
CO of the RAN Dive School,
CMDR Shanks, said underwater
demolitions training was the culmi-
nation of clearance diver training.
"They have to combine their div-
ing skills, work against the natural
elements and use their demolitions
skills to successfully achieve the
task. This training is critical to their
future employment where they will
be operating in the maritime envi-
ronment and need to safely dispose
of EO under varying circumstances,"
CMDR Shanks said.
"Many of the RAN Dive School's
trainees and seamen have never been
to sea so this training is their first
opportunity to work in an operation-
al ship. It certainly gives them an
appreciation for amphibious opera-
Ultimately, the ship's company
were pleased to successfully com-
plete the entire evolution in just over
EOD training success
JOINT EFFORT: HMAS
Tarakan's ship's company
and embarked forces
help unload equipment
required for clearance
diver EOD training on
By Graham Davis
THERE was a meeting of captains at
HMAS Cairns (CMDR Bob Heffey) on
April 23, but it wasn't what you might
They were school student captains
from 15 Cairns secondary schools.
HMAS Cairns' CO, CMDR Heffey,
invited the teenagers to his base for a
school captains' luncheon and tour.
School captains and a teacher/careers
advisor or the principal from each school
were also invited.
The visit included a tour of HMA
Ships Launceston and Paluma, as well as
an opportunity to chat with their ships'
Students had a further opportunity to
talk with sailors and officers at a lunch-
eon on the Gags Patio (part of the base's
new cafeteria), hosted by CMDR Heffey.
Gordonvale State High School
Teacher, Patrice Honnef, reported after-
wards that captains Danica Moller and
Jason Sims had spoken of the visit at the
A meeting of captains
school's Anzac Day parade, generating a
great deal of interest in Cairns and Navy.
CMDR Heffey said that, due to the
success of this gathering, he planned
to make it an annual event in the week
leading up to Anzac Day.
GOOD EXPOSURE: Gordonvale
State High School Teacher Patrice
Honnef, school captains Danica
Moller and Jason Simms, and HMAS
Cairns' CO CMDR Bob Heffey.
By Michael Brooke
MORE than 300 old salts with a col-
lective service history totalling over
5000 years gathered recently for the
Federation of Naval Ship Associations
annual lunch where COMAUSTFLT,
RADM Steve Gilmore, was the guest
The old salts included four retired
admirals, more than a dozen WWII vet-
erans and scores of Vietnam War vet-
erans, representing more than 10 ship
The annual luncheon at NSW
Parliament House on April 15 allowed
old shipmates to share war stories and
to coordinate their participation in the
Anzac Day march.
Among the old and bold present was
RADM Guy Griffiths (Rtd) who survived
the sinking of HMS Repulse in WWII
and former CN, VADM David Leach,
who commanded HMAS Vendetta during
RADM Gilmore told the gathering it
was a rare treat to find so many old salts
with such a history of distinguished serv-
ice in the same place at the same time.
Nostalgia on the menu
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