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November 24, 2011
By James O'Callaghan
ADF Ship Choules is bound for
Australia after successfully com-
pleting sea trials off the United
The vessel will add significant
value to the RAN's humanitar-
ian assistance and disaster relief
response capability, demonstrated
by its work as part of the Royal
Navy's fleet deployed to Haiti after
the 2010 earthquake.
At 16,000 tonnes, 176m long
and 26m wide with room for two
large helicopters on the flight deck,
Choules will form an integral part
of the fleet as the Navy transitions
towards the introduction of the
Landing Helicopter Dock ships.
Choules' Commanding Officer,
CMDR John Cowan, is proud of his
"The men and women who now
form Choules' ship's company have
had to undergo a very comprehen-
sive and demanding program to
safely and efficiently crew the ship,"
"They have undergone an inten-
sive period of training and assess-
ment by the Royal Navy's Sea
Training Group to certify them as
safe to conduct the long and chal-
lenging voyage home.
"They passed with flying col-
CMDR Cowan also thanked
members of the Royal Fleet
Auxiliary and A&P Dockyard in
Falmouth where Choules recently
underwent a major refit.
"Choules is a tremendous piece
of equipment and she has recently
completed her first five-year refit,
and is materially in excellent condi-
tion and ready to begin her service
with the RAN," CMDR Cowan said.
"Claude Choules passed us a
legacy of quiet achievement, being
dependable and ready to respond
when called upon without fanfare,
but with determination to succeed
and the resilience to overcome any
"These are attributes the men
and women of Choules have already
embraced and they are developing
a fine tradition of living up to the
ship's motto of 'Face Difficulty
"Like all members of Choules'
ship's company, I am looking for-
ward to returning home in time
for Christmas and showing the
Australian public what a valuable
contribution this vessel will make to
The ship is expected to be commis-
sioned into the RAN in December as
HMAS Choules and will be operational
in early 2012.
Crew passes trials with 'flying colours'
GOOD TO GO: ADF Ship Choules
is put through her paces during
sea trials off the UK coast.
Photo: LA Phot Shaun Barlow
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