Home' Navy News : May 26th 2011 Contents NAVY NEWS
May 26, 2011
Ardent Six a hit on south
During April, HMAS Childers, with Cairns-
based patrol boat crew Ardent Six embarked,
travelled through the south-west Pacific on an
international engagement deployment designed
to strengthen partnerships in the region. New
friendships were formed and cultural exchanges
were frequent, as SBLT Sarah West reports.
NEW Caledonia may be an
island in the south-west
Pacific, but in essence its
capital, Noumea, is a small
slice of France which once drifted
to a tropical atoll thousands of miles
from Europe, and dropped pick.
With this in mind Ardent Six,
embarked in HMAS Childers, started
the New Caledonia leg of its interna-
tional engagement deployment in com-
pany with Noumea-based French Navy
patrol boat La Glorieuse.
The passing exercise, which was
conducted off-shore the island nation,
included boarding displays, officer-of-
the-watch manoeuvres and a screen-
play, and provided the opportunity
to "cross deck" for a lucky few from
each ship. Four sailors and officers
from each crew swapped places for a
night to experience life in each other's
The Australian contingent was
treated to the finest of French food,
cheese and wine at the French cap-
tain's table, while the visitors to
Childers were bemused by the self-
sufficient nature of the Australians.
"There's no-one to serve our
meals?" asked one of the French mid-
shipmen after collecting his food from
the scran line.
The curiosity continued the next
morning when "wakey, wakey" was
lost in translation.
"What is this 'call the hands?'"
asked another visiting midshipman
"Why do you call to your hands?"
The passing exercise ended with
pilotage into Noumea, where both ves-
sels berthed at the French naval base.
The Australian crew was then
equipped with some essential French
phrases and granted leave to explore
the island nation. The port visit includ-
ed swimming, snorkelling, island
hopping and dining on French cuisine,
while Commanding Officer CMDR
Mitch Edwards attended several offi-
cial engagements to strengthen ties
with New Caledonian government and
AT THE HELM: Ardent Six Commanding Officer CMDR Mitch Edwards takes HMAS Childers out of Noumea
during the recent international engagement deployment throughout the south-west Pacific.
Links Archive May 12th 2011 June 9th 2011 Navigation Previous Page Next Page