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August 5, 2010
By Michael Brooke
HMAS Melbourne (CMDR Michael
Harris) has gone from strength to
strength while preparing for her mile-
stone deployment to Operation Slipper.
Melbourne's hard-working crew
successfully completed their Mission
Readiness Evaluation under the scruti-
ny of Sea Training Group to have the
upgraded FFG squared away for her first
operational deployment in six years.
Melbourne's deployment to conduct
anti-piracy patrols will also mark the first
time a RAN upgraded FFG has under-
taken an operational deployment.
The achievements of Melbourne's
ship's company are all the more impres-
sive because most of them had no experi-
ence conducting an operational work-up.
CO, CMDR Harris, said Melbourne's
success preparing for her deployment
spoke volumes about her ship's compa-
ny's enthusiasm and dedication to duty.
"To deploy the first upgraded FFG in
support of operations makes the deploy-
ment all the more professionally reward-
ing for us," CMDR Harris said.
"The ship's company worked tireless-
ly to achieve all the individual and col-
lective training outcomes required to get
Melbourne mission ready."
CMDR Harris said the MRE during
July 23-24 put the crew through its paces
for boarding operations, anti-air warfare
exercises and damage control, as well as
all the different spheres of warfare a RAN
Fleet unit may encounter in the MEAO.
"The crew responded incredibly well
to the challenges imposed by the MRE.
Everyone has put their best foot forward,
learnt from their mistakes and helped us
achieve a good result," he said.
ABBM Ben Hagan said he really
enjoyed the MRE and was looking for-
ward to his first operational deployment.
"I'm very excited by the opportunity
to deploy with Melbourne on her mile-
stone deployment to Operation Slipper,"
"I had great fun doing the boarding
operations during the MRE, so I'm really
looking forward to the challenge of our
When Melbourne replaces HMAS
Parramatta in the MEAO, she will be
the 24th rotation of a RAN Fleet unit
to the region since operations began in
READY AND ROARING: HMAS Melbourne, pictured here at Fleet Base East, will be the first upgraded
RAN FFG to deploy operationally when she leaves for the MEAO shortly.
By Alan Pinsker
ALL ADF members have been encour-
aged to take part in one of Defence's
most extensive health and wellbeing
studies promoted in a nation-wide
roadshow that crossed the country last
The Military Health Outcomes
Program (MiLHOP) roadshow included
visits by Joint Health Command's BRIG
Stephan Rudzki to Defence sites encour-
aging commanders to inspire Service
personnel to take up the survey.
"Commanders have responded well
to the briefings and appreciated an
explanation of the benefits and impor-
tance to both senior leadership and ADF
personnel of participating in MilHOP,"
BRIG Rudzki said.
MilHOP First Chief Investigator
Alexander McFarlane said the program
would guide Defence in continuing to
develop appropriate health services and
"Members would be helping them-
selves, their families, and their mates
by simply filling out the survey," Prof
Drop-in centres organised by the
Centre for Military and Veterans' Health
at major military bases formed an impor-
tant part of the roadshow, allowing
Service personnel to receive, complete
and lodge paper health surveys on-site.
Individual entitlements and benefits
will not be affected by participation in
the study now or in the future.
MilHOP information is available on the
CMVH website at www.cmvh.org.au, from
the research team by calling 1800 886 567,
or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
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