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August 18, 2011
By Michael Brooke
HMA Ships Perth and Newcastle
kicked a goal for Navy in footy-
mad Melbourne when they opened
ir gangways to the public as part
the RAN's 100th anniversary
More than 7000 people
visited the ships when they
berthed in Port Melbourne from
The open day was one of many
to be staged around Australia to
mark the 100th anniversary of King
George V granting the title 'Royal
Australian Navy' to the 10-year-old
Commonwealth Naval Forces in
The community engagement
activity helped remove the mystery
that often surrounds Navy's impor-
tant contribution to national security,
which is often conducted far out at
sea.The ships' companies relished
the opportunity to tell visitors about
Navy's unique lifestyle.
HMAS Perth's CO, CAPT
Malcolm Wise, said there was a great
deal of media interest during the port
"This demonstrates the desire
Victorians have to gain a better
understanding of the lives and roles
of our sailors and the ships in which
they serve," CAPT Wise said.
The ships were joined in
Melbourne by HMAS Sirius and a
number of Navy departments which
had exhibition booths on the wharf.
At the end of the visit the small
task group shaped a course for Fleet
Base West to participate in Exercise
Perth participated in the open day
following her radar upgrade, success-
ful involvement in HMAS Sydney's
SM2 missile tests and Exercise
Talisman Sabre, while Newcastle
recently returned to sea following a
period of refit and maintenance.
Perth is the first Anzac-class FFH
to undergo the Anti-Ship Missile
Defence (ASMD) upgrade, which
represents a significant enhancement
to the warfighting capabilities of the
CAPT Wise said the ship's com-
pany was excited about Perth's new
"Perth is a very formidable front-
line fighting ship," he said.
CAPT Wise said Perth consolidat-
ed the performance of its new phased
array radar and combat systems at
the Pacific Missile Range Facility in
Hawaii in support of Sydney's SM2
"Having successfully proven this
new capability in Perth, the founda-
tions have been laid for the future of
the Anzac-class and ASMD capabili-
ties," he said.
Warships open gangways
RAN shows mettle
DRAWING A CROWD:
Melbournians queue to
board HMAS Perth at
Station Pier during a Navy
open day in Melbourne.
Photo: LSIS Paul McCallum
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