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July 21, 2011
By Michael Brooke
WITH a handshake and an exchange
of the telescope, symbolising the
weight of command, the top job
at HMAS Melbourne passed from
CMDR Michael Harris to CMDR
Richard Boulton during a ceremony
at Fleet Base East on July 1.
The handover provided the out-
going CO with a chance to thank the
Ship's Company for its dedication
to duty which enabled Melbourne to
achieve some important milestones
over the past 18 months.
Those milestones included
winning the Gloucester Cup and the
"This is by far the best posting I
have ever enjoyed," CMDR Harris
said.The exchange of the telescope
was significant in that it was used by
the CO Melbourne II to find CMDR
Harris' grandfather who was lost at sea
many decades earlier.
CMDR Harris said he was hon-
oured to command the first upgraded
FFG to achieve Mission Readiness in
order to deploy on Op Slipper, where
Melbourne's success during her pirate-
busting deployment was acknowledged
by being awarded the Gloucester Cup
and the Spada Shield.
The new CO, CMDR Boulton, said
he was honoured and privileged to
He said Melbourne had achieved
excellent results over the past year and
that the ship was looking forward to
living up to her motto, Vires acquirit
eundo (She gathers strength as she
goes), leading up to another significant
deployment in 2012.
Melbourne is scheduled to leave
Captain Cook Dock soon and begin a
vigorous workup program culminating
with a Mission Readiness Evaluation
later in the year.
Melbourne was the first Adelaide-
class frigate deployed to the MEAO
after the FFG upgrade project
which included improved anti-ship
missile defence, radar sensors, on-
board training systems, electronic sup-
port systems, tactical data link capabil-
ity, underwater warfare systems and
ship service diesel generators.
OVER TO YOU: Outgoing CO of HMAS
Melbourne, CMDR Mike Harris (left) hands
over command to the new CO, CMDR Richard
Boulton, during a ceremony at Captain Cook
Graving Dock, Fleet Base East on July 1.
Photo: ABIS Alan Lancaster
DSTO and Melbourne-based HRL
Technology are working on a concept
to turn a range of solid wastes or rub-
bish into electricity.
The two organisations have devel-
oped the "waste to energy" concept
using technology capable of processing
up to 5000kg of solid waste per day.
Defence Science and Personnel
Minister Warren Snowdon said a typical
ADF battalion generated about 1000-
2000kg of waste a day on deployment.
"The aim of the waste to energy sys-
tem is to recover the embodied energy of
the rubbish and generate power for the
base, reducing the need for diesel," Mr
One of the biggest fuel usages in a
deployed environment, excluding air
operations, is power generation for head-
quarters, field hospitals, and humanitar-
ian relief sites.
Research over two-and-a-half years
found the most effective way to gener-
ate power was to use hot gases from
waste combustion in a grate furnace,
which heated compressed air for expan-
sion through a turbine.
Mr Snowdon said the system could
potentially generate 200kW of power --
enough to power 240 homes and 3000
litres of hot water an hour and using
about 2000kg of rubbish a day.
"This would equate to a fuel saving
of up to 1300 litres of diesel per day --
not only could that benefit the environ-
ment but it's also a substantial potential
cost saving," Mr Snowdon said.
The technology is relatively small
and deployable and requires little or no
The system could also be used at mil-
itary bases between deployments to gen-
erate power and reduce the ADF's green
house gas emissions by diverting waste
A prototype unit to demonstrate the
concept should be completed within two
Recycling not all just hot gas
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