Home' Navy News : December 9th 2010 Contents NAVY NEWS
December 9, 2010
YEAR IN REVIEW
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Following the federal election held on
August 21, Defence welcomed a new team
of ministers as well as one familiar face.
Stephen Smith was appointed Minister for
Defence, Warren Snowdon returned to the
Defence portfolio as Minister for Defence
Science and Personnel and Minister for
Veterans' Affairs, Jason Clare became
Minister for Defence Materiel, while
Senator David Feeney took up the role of
Parliamentary Secretary for Defence.
It was with sadness that Navy con-
firmed a junior sailor had been found dead
on board HMAS Launceston on September
14. ABCK Jay Wilkie was found not breath-
ing by crewmates. First aid was applied but
he could not be revived. At time of writing,
ABCK Wilkie's death was under investiga-
tion by the Northern Territory Coroner.
Parramatta arrived home at FBE on
September 15 -- precisely six months
after the ship departed for Operation
Slipper. During a successful deployment,
Parramatta steamed more than 70,000km,
conducted over 1000 queries of com-
mercial and local shipping, completed 63
boardings and responded to 14 distress
signals in relation to suspected pirate
HMAS Collins steamed into Sydney
Harbour on September 24 -- the first visit
to Sydney by a RAN submarine in over two
years. Collins was circumnavigating the
continent clockwise, along the way taking
part in Exercise Kakadu, helping HMAS
Sydney achieve its anti-submarine warfare
milestone and Stuart with its work-up, as
well as visiting Cairns and Melbourne.
Also on September 24 Manoora partici-
pated in a memorial service for Australian
Hospital Ship Centaur, sunk by a Japanese
submarine on May 14, 1943, resulting
in the deaths of 268 men and women.
Manoora carried 340 family members and
friends of the victims to the location of
the wreck, 50km east of Moreton Island.
A memorial was held some 2km above
Centaur's final resting place, and those
attending were able to leave tributes for
their loved ones.
Marking a significant growth in the
Sino-Australian relationship, Australian
and Chinese naval vessels conducted
reciprocal visits in September and October.
Two Chinese ships, People's Liberation
Army -- Navy (PLA-N) ships Mianyang and
Zhenghe visited Sydney and then Darwin.
Significantly, two RAN midshipmen sailed
from Auckland to Sydney in Zhenghe -- the
first time naval officers from a Western
nation have been permitted to sea ride in
a PLA-N ship.
Simultaneously, Warramunga par-
ticipated in a first-of-type live fire exer-
cise with the PLA-N in Chinese waters.
Warramunga then visited the Chinese
ports of Qindao and Zhanjiang.
The Chief of Navy initiated an
operational pause on Navy's two Landing
Platforms Amphibious (LPA) vessels,
Kanimbla and Manoora, on September 27.
Acting in response to information provided
by the LPA Seaworthiness Board, CN said,
"Our LPAs are a key element of Navy
capability, but if their operation has poten-
tial to impact on safety then this must be
addressed quickly and openly."
"While I acknowledge the significant
effort to improve the state of the LPAs
during 2010, the ships will now remain
alongside until I am convinced the
potential problems highlighted by the
LPA Seaworthiness Board have been
addressed," VADM Crane said.
Exercise Bersama Padu began on
October 11 in Malaysia and the South
China Sea. Bersama Padu was con-
ducted under the Five Powers Defence
Arrangement, which comprises Australia,
Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and
the United Kingdom. Navy's presence
included HMA Ships Success, Tobruk,
Toowoomba and Arunta. Tobruk -- a last-
minute substitute for HMNZS Canterbury,
which was re-tasked with earthquake relief
in New Zealand -- hosted the Five Power
Rifle Company, which was made up of
Australian and Malaysian soldiers.
Twenty-six young indigenous
Australians graduated from the first
Defence Indigenous Development Program
-- Navy in October. The participants sailed
in Young Endeavour, completed a boot
camp at HMAS Cerberus, undertook work
experience at HMAS Cairns, as well as
completing Access 10 training and compo-
nents of a boat coxswain's ticket. Another
course is being planned for 2011.
A RAN officer took command of
Combined Task Force 150 (CTF 150) in the
Middle East for only the second time, on
October 14. CDRE Gregory Sammut said it
was a privilege to be entrusted with com-
mand of CTF 150.
"My team and I look forward to work-
ing closely with our Combined Maritime
Forces partners and regional friends to
promote security and stability throughout
the surrounding maritime domain," CDRE
The sacrifices of Australian and US
military personnel in Afghanistan were
honoured at the Australia-US Ministerial
Consultations in Melbourne on November
8, where Defence Minister Stephen Smith
and Foreign Affairs Minister Kevin Rudd
met with US Secretary of State Hilary
Clinton and US Defence Secretary Robert
In a joint communiqué they stated
the 2010 AUSMIN meeting confirmed
the "enduring values of the Australia-US
alliance and its adaptability in meeting
contemporary and evolving strategic chal-
November 11 marked Remembrance
Day and thousands of sailors across
Australia and the world paused to remem-
ber the sacrifices made by Australians in
war.Services in Western Australia included
a dedication to the submarine AE2 at the
Fremantle Maritime Museum, while in
Sydney sailors from Kuttabul provided a
catafalque party at Martin Place.
With 2010 drawing to a close, the men
and women of the RAN can be rightly
proud of their contribution to Australia and
2011 will no-doubt throw up challeng-
es, both familiar and novel, but the RAN is
well-placed to not only meet but surpass
them, staying true to its values of honour,
honesty, courage, integrity and loyalty.
GOODWILL: (Left) Dental officer LEUT Tom Yong
meets with children from Elementary School 78 in Air
Putri, Ambon, Indonesia, during Pacific Partnership.
Photo: ABIS Andrew Dakin
HELPING HAND: (Above) Medical officer LEUT Joel
Hissink assess a Pakistani man in the Camp Cockatoo
Health Centre during Op Pakistan Assist.
Photo: CPL Chris Moore
HEAVY LOAD: (Above left) A Sea King helicopter
from 817 Squadron conducts vertical replenish-
ment operations between USS Bonhomme Richard
and USNS Guadelupe during Exercise RIMPAC.
Photo: ABIS Peter Thompson
CULTURAL AWARENESS: (Above) SMNGX
Grace Rounds from HMAS Tobruk has a feather
band placed on her head by tribe members dur-
ing a display at the Malaguna Primary School
in Rabaul, Papua New Guinea, during Pacific
Photo: ABIS Andrew Dakin
HONING SKILLS: (Left) LSBM Adam Yarnold
(left), SMNBM Cory Pickett (right) and SMNBM
Rhys Williams (middle) conduct a 12.7mm firing
serial on board HMAS Bundaberg during the Minor
War Vessels Concentration Period.
Photo: ABIS James Whittle
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