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February 3, 2011
By Michael Brooke
HMAS Melbourne (CMDR Michael
Harris) will be presented with the
Gloucester Cup and Spada Shield
when she returns to Fleet Base
East later this month following her
Operation Slipper deployment.
Commander Australian Fleet
RADM Steve Gilmore recently
announced Melbourne as the winner
of the prestigious trophies in the 2010
Fleet Proficiency Awards.
The awards speak volumes of
Melbourne's excellence in capability
generation, safety, seamanship, reli-
ability and unit-level training, which
were well demonstrated during her
deployment to the MEAO.
Commenting on her dominance of
the 2010 Fleet Proficiency Awards,
Melbourne's CO, CMDR Michael
Harris, said it was an enormous hon-
our for the crew.
"Every member of Melbourne has
played a critical role in helping us
achieve these awards," he said.
"I am extremely privileged to lead
and work alongside such a profes-
sional, dedicated and happy crew. The
awards recognise a long year of hard
work for each and every crew mem-
ber."Melbourne wasn't the only unit
to be recognised in the 2010 Fleet
Proficiency Awards -- HMAS Cairns
was identified as the foremost in shore
operations, winning the Governor's
Cup (see break-out story).
Nowra-based 816 Squadron was
also awarded the McNichol Trophy
for being the leading aviation unit.
CO 816 Squadron CMDR Shane
Craig said the award of the McNichol
Trophy was recognition of the out-
standing efforts of every sailor, officer
and civilian at 816 Squadron during
"They can all be proud of their
efforts and I am delighted to work
with such a professional and dedicated
group of men and women," he said.
"On behalf of the squadron I
would like to thank the many organi-
sations and especially the families of
squadron members who have support-
ed 816 throughout the year."
Replenishment ship HMAS
Success (CMDR Ainsley Morthorpe)
was acknowledged with the
Amphibious Afloat Support Group
(AASG) Efficiency Shield.
"The AASG Efficiency Shield
has been welcome recognition of the
great work being done by the team in
Success," he said.
CMDR Morthorpe said the award
also recognised the great attention to
detail that had become the hallmark of
"The busy operational tempo was
achieved through a careful husband-
ing of the ship, while the 'Can do,
safely' motto was in the forefront of
the crew's thoughts," he said.
Armidale Class Patrol Boat crew
Attack Two took out the Kelly Shield,
while former Mine Hunter Crew One
was awarded the Rushcutter Shield.
HMAS We w a k was identified as
Melbourne wins Gloucester Cup
the foremost in its class, taking out the
LCH Proficiency Shield, while HMAS
Mermaid won the Hydrographic
Excellence Award and HMAS
Dechaineux won the Submarine
Fighting Proficiency Award.
In announcing the awards, RADM
Gilmore acknowledged the Fleet's
considerable effort made in 'smart
training' over the past 12 months,
emphasised in the Fleet Operating
Concept and New Generation Navy.
"It is with great pride that I
acknowledge the hard work and com-
mitment demonstrated by the winning
ships' companies," RADM Gilmore
"The competition for the 2010
awards was extremely strong and
required every individual to be dedi-
cated to their respective task.
"The excellence demonstrated by
these ships is world-class and every
member should be justifiably proud."
HMAS Cairns has taken out the
Governor's Cup for the second time
in three years.
The cup is awarded to the most
outstanding RAN shore base or estab-
lishment around Australia.
CMDR Bob Heffey, then CO of the
base -- which has around 900 uni-
formed and civilian personnel and is
home base to 14 ships and an aircraft
-- announced the win at the base's
Christmas Party on December 10.
His announcement was tinged
with a little sadness as on January 14
he posted off the base to head the
Australian Navy Cadet organisation.
CMDR Heffey said he found out
about the Governor's Cup win earlier
"I used that success in my farewell
speech to deflect my sadness in leav-
ing such a wonderful job and a dedi-
cated ship's company," he said.
"It was a great night and allowed
me the opportunity to personally
thank my ship's company for their
superb contributions and commitment
CMDR Wendy Bullen took com-
mand of Cairns on January 14.
-- Graham Davis
EXCELLENCE AWARDED: HMAS Melbourne, pictured here on
Operation Slipper duties, won both the Gloucester Cup and Spada
Shield in the 2010 Fleet Proficiency Awards.
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