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December 8, 2011
THREE frigates left Sydney
Harbour on November 29 bound for
the coast off Newcastle to conduct
a series of intensive air and sea
exercises as part of Exercise Triton
Triton Warrior 11 is the third in
a series of coordinated exercises
conducted this year in the Eastern
Australian Exercise Area.
Commanding Officer of lead ship
HMAS Sydney, CAPT Luke Charles-
Jones, said exercise objectives had
increased in complexity as the war-
fighting skills of the fleet evolved dur-
ing the 2011 Triton series.
"A major focus of Triton Warrior
11 is to provide ships the opportunity
to conduct anti-submarine warfare
evolutions," CAPT Charles-Jones said.
"To that end, HMAS Dechaineux
was involved earlier in the exercise to
provide a submarine hunting opportu-
nity for ships and air assets."
As the exercise evolves, HMA
Ships Sydney, Darwin and Ballarat
will integrate with Air Force aircraft
ranging from Hawks to Wedgetails in
anti-aircraft warfare serials.
Collectively, all units will be tested
on their preparedness for various
warfare serials within the strict envi-
ronmental and safety guidelines used
"With more than 400 officers and
sailors involved in this part of the
Triton series, the public can be assured
of a fully prepared naval fleet," CAPT
skills tested in
FORMER CPO Frank Davidson has
joined his mates at sea off the coast
of Tobruk in a quiet ceremony 70
years on from the wartime sinking of
HMAS Parramatta II.
Mr Davidson was one of the
24 sailors to survive the sinking of
Parramatta II on November 27, 1941,
with the loss of 138 men.
Crew of HMAS Parramatta IV
paused briefly from their operational
mission in the Middle East to com-
memorate the loss of Parramatta II and
to commit the ashes of Mr Davidson to
the Red Sea.
The ashes of Mr Davidson join
those of his old shipmate, former LS
Ted Fryer, whose ashes were previ-
ously scattered by Parramatta IV while
on operations in 2010.
Parramatta's Commanding Officer
CMDR Guy Blackburn said it was a
significant occasion for the Navy fam-
"In July, we farewelled our final
survivor, Harold Moss. Today we bring
old mates together by saying goodbye
to Frank Davidson," CMDR Blackburn
"These men set our standard for
duty and service and it is our honour to
be here with them again."
CMDR Blackburn said it was not
far from the ship's location in the
Middle East that the men of Parramatta
II made the ultimate sacrifice in the
name of Australia.
"In the early hours of that day,
while convoying supplies between
Parra sailor joins mates
Alexandria and Tobruk, Parramatta II
was torpedoed, and lost 138 men."
CMDR Blackburn said Jill Green,
the ship's commissioning lady, had
made the journey from Mandurah
to Sydney to attend a memorial ser-
vice in the City of Parramatta for
Ms Green's father, LEUT Bill
Langford, was the Executive Officer
in Parramatta II and was lost at sea
"We remember the families and
friends whose lives were changed for-
ever on that day," CMDR Blackburn
"This morning, Sydney time, in
the city from which this ship receives
her name, some of the children of
those men who lived and who died,
along with many others, gathered to
"Many of them didn't know their
fathers but they gather to remember
them. We are honoured to join our
commemoration to theirs."
The memorial service aboard
Parramatta IV was led by CHAP
Andrew Watters on the flight deck.
The ship has since returned to
duties with the Combined Maritime
Forces, which patrols more than 2.5
million square miles of international
waters to counter terrorism, prevent
piracy and help guarantee maritime
security in the Gulf and Horn of
ULTIMATE SACRIFICE: HMAS
Parramatta's CO, CMDR Guy
Blackburn (right), and XO, LCDR
Ryan Gaskin, stand at attention
during the service to commemo-
rate the loss of Parramatta II
while, above, CPOB Jason Rowe
scatters Parramatta II survivor
Frank Davidson's ashes over the
stern. Photos: CPO John Alderton
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