Home' Navy News : June 23rd 2011 Contents 3
ending most of the last 10
ed the work conducted in
of the ship's operational
conducted rolling 12-hour shifts, seven
days a week.
A small team of engineering and sup-
ply day hands was on board to ensure
the ship's planned maintenance and
stocktaking cycles were upheld. Other
support staff were involved in organising
accommodation, as well as the ordering
and distribution of rations.
It was an arduous time away from
home, which tested resolve and commit-
ment. That people stepped up to the plate
has been acknowledged at the highest
levels of Navy.
"I will have the courage to stand up
for what is right and stop unaccepta-
ble behaviour." At the risk of re-visiting
wounds that are plainly beginning to
heal, it is worth noting that members of
the 2009 ship's company were the ones
who reported the unacceptable behaviour
in the first place.
How the incidents were dealt with
is covered in the HMAS Success
Commission of Inquiry reports. Part One
was released on February 22 and Part
Two is currently with the Defence
Minister and will be released in due
Now, more than ever, CMDR
Morthorpe reminds his company
of young men and women that any
transgressions risk the ship being
tarred with an old brush.
"I will be the best that I can."
It's a simple commitment but
one that takes on a 24/7 aspect
when the ship is Success and the
reputation of the RAN is linked to
the public performance of her full
complement of 220 individuals.
CMDR Morthorpe declares his faith
in the crew.
"I have absolute confidence in our
people," he says.
"Throughout the period we were in
Singapore and even before then when the
full ship's company participated in exer-
cises and port visits throughout south-
east Asia, they have done themselves and
The boss is even ready to issue a new
challenge to his team.
As New Generation Navy training
continues throughout the fleet, CMDR
Morthorpe wants his ship to be the lead-
ing example for Major Fleet Units. It's a
tall order with all personnel across Navy
getting on board with the cultural change
initiated by recently retired Chief of
Navy VADM Russ Crane.
But CMDR Morthorpe is quietly
"We know what is expected of us
and have been delivering the goods. I've
seen their character and the people of
Australia can be very proud of them."
ering the goods. I've seen their character and the people of Australia
-- CMDR Ainsley Morthorpe, CO HMAS Success, on his ship's company
By Michael Brooke
BEFORE retiring Chief of Navy VADM Russ
Crane departed after a distinguished career
spanning 41 years, he marked his last day at sea
with a poignant voyage with an old shipmate --
VADM Crane embarked in Success during the
last leg of her journey from Singapore to Fleet
Base East, which had great sentimental value for
the outgoing CN, who was Commanding Officer
of the ship from 1998 to 2000.
VADM Crane joined Success after completion
of her double hulling refit project in Singapore, in
order to meet International Maritime Organisation
standards for environmental protection against
The voyage enabled VADM Crane to meet
many of Success' crew, who take great pride
in being at the forefront of the RAN's cultural
change initiatives following the release of Part
One of the Success Commission of Inquiry
VADM Crane's sea-ride brought him face to
face with POCK Melissa Ohlson, who two months
earlier had written a spirited and passionate let-
ter about Success' proud ship's company, which
was published in Navy News alongside a positive
response from VADM Crane (refer to page 13 of
the April 28 edition of Navy News).
Headlined 'Proud to Serve in Success', then-
LSCK Ohlson stated quite succinctly that the aux-
iliary oil replenisher was crewed by highly profes-
sional officers and dedicated sailors, and that "I
couldn't be more proud to become a senior sailor
to serve in the so-called 'ship of shame'".
And, as fate would have it, on the morn-
ing of June 3 LSCK Ohlson was promoted to
PO aboard Success by none other than VADM
When POCK Ohlson met VADM Crane and
identified herself as the letter writer, the outgo-
ing CN expressed delight that so many past and
present crew were proud to be associated with
Success, which had become a vehicle for culture
change in the RAN.
POCK Ohlson said she wrote the letter to help
set the record straight, because she had seen
too much negative publicity that did not recognise
the hard work and dedication of the ship's current
"I was pretty determined to get this point
across, but was very surprised the letter made its
way to VADM Crane, who even wrote a compas-
sionate reply," she said.
"I was very happy the chain-of-command took
my view serious enough to pass it up to CN for
POCK Ohlson said her letter succeeded in
telling the families of crew members and the
wider Navy community that Success' ship's
company were very proud of their ship and were
working hard to achieve culture change and other
vital outcomes for the fleet.
VADM Crane responded to the letter by saying
that POCK Ohlson and the other crew members
"should not see the COI findings as a burden, but
"Cultural change is never easy, but through
New Generation Navy we will succeed and I am
confident that you and your crew mates will con-
tinue to assist us in this vitally important work,"
VADM Crane wrote.
The pride and professionalism of the crew
impressed VADM Crane, who expressed his
admiration for officers and sailors alike -- includ-
Sentimental voyage a success
ing LS Rebecca Fealy, who decided to challenge
herself by serving as the acting Buffer for the
past six months.
"It's been a huge step up in responsibility for
me, but this is the challenge I needed to prove
myself as ready for promotion," she said.
"There has been a lot regulating, paperwork,
stress and hard work."
LS Fealy, who has done 10 years at sea dur-
ing her 14 years in the RAN, said her biggest
challenge was coordinating her team effectively,
which helped enable Success to pass a Mariner
Skills Evaluation during the voyage home.
VADM Crane shared his time between the jun-
ior sailors' mess, the senior sailors' mess and the
wardroom, where he spoke to almost all the offic-
ers and sailors about the exciting times ahead
for Navy -- particularly with the new technologies
coming online in the form of the Canberra-class
LHDs and Hobart-class AWDs.
VADM Crane retired from the Navy on June 7,
handing over to new CN VADM Ray Griggs.
FAREWELL: Retiring CN
VADM Russ Crane crosses
HMAS Success' gangway
after joining the ship for
the last leg of her journey
to Sydney while, inset,
VADM Crane (right) and
Success' CO CMDR Ainsley
Morthorpe promote LSCK
Melissa Ohlson to PO.
Main photo: ABIS Hayley Clarke
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