Home' Navy News : February 2nd 2012 Contents NAVY NEWS
February 2, 2012
for LS ranks
NAVAL Reserve per-
sonnel at the rank of
Leading Seaman are
eligible to be nominated
for the Tasman Scheme
comprising a two-week
secondment with a
New Zealand Defence
Force unit with all costs
covered by Defence.
The scheme recognises
the reservist's overall
tion and commitment.
Eligible leading seamen
will need to have at least
one year's seniority, a
minimum of three years
reserve service and 20
days service in the cur-
rent financial year. COs
can nominate suitable
individuals by April 30.
Leaders set for
Duncan Lewis and CDF
GEN David Hurley are
personnel to join
them in Febfast 2012.
Febfast is a fundraising
initiative to promote
and raise awareness of
the harms of excessive
Participants pay a
registration fee and seek
sponsorship to abstain
from drinking alcohol
Funds raised will go
to community services
for young people with
alcohol and drug
addiction. For more
information on Febfast
2012 visit: http://febfast.
Choules in readiness
By Michael Brooke
AFTER a period of programmed
maintenance, HMAS Tobruk recent-
ly went to sea to achieve a small but
important milestone to enhance her
Tobruk completed a her Mariner
Skills Evaluation (MSE) under the
scrutiny of Sea Training Group
which better prepared her to respond
to operational taskings within the
required 48-hours notice to move.
CO Tobruk CMDR Paul Scott
said his crew was set to go.
"We are now ready to be tasked
which is a great achievement by us
after such a lengthy maintenance
period," CMDR Scott said.
Late last year Tobruk conducted a
series of evolutions in Jervis Bay to
confirm the functionality of the many
ship systems that were worked on
during the maintenance period.
CMDR Scott said the MSE
allowed the ship's company to dem-
onstrate to Sea Training Group and
other stakeholders that Tobruk can
operate at sea in a controlled and safe
"The crew has worked tremen-
dously hard through a long remedia-
tion process including engineering
trials to get Tobruk materially safe
and ready to respond to operational
requirements," CMDR Scott said.
The MSE which included naviga-
tion, boat drills and craning opera-
tions has the crew ready for the next
challenge of unit readiness certifica-
tion in the coming weeks.
The sustainability and readiness
of Tobruk, aka 'the faithful and the
strong', is vitally important for ADF
capability to conduct humanitarian
assistance and disaster relief taskings
following the decommissioning of
CMDR Scott said the sustainabil-
ity of Tobruk for operational con-
tingencies, as well as programmed
commitments, would be unachievable
without key organisations in Navy
and industry working towards a com-
"The past few months have been
very busy for Tobruk with some
extensive work conducted by her
ship's company and key support
LCDR Sean Feenan said every-
one had worked hard to make a num-
ber of materiel improvements includ-
ing a significant improvement to her
The crew said it was elated to
have passed MSE and have Tobruk on
course for her next challenge.
MIDN Jonathon Momsen said he
posted onto Tobruk after marching
out of HMAS Creswell and has thor-
oughly enjoyed his time at sea.
"It was a great learning experi-
ence assisting the Officer of the
Watch and I'm happy to have contrib-
uted to getting Tobruk ready for her
next challenge," he said.
Tobruk completes evaluation and
sets sights on her next tasking
By LEUT Kelli Lunt
THE ship's company of HMAS Choules has been
busy making preparations for her work-up program
(WUP) and unit readiness evaluation (URE).
Choules will conduct her WUP during Exercise
Squadex this month and her URE during Exercise Sea
Lion in March.
CO Choules CMDR John Cowan said his crew was
building on the expertise gained last year during its col-
lective training under the auspices of the Royal Navy.
The training will help the ship's company meet the
many challenges the RAN WUP will present as it tackles
a busy and demanding year.
Since the ship's company first came together last July,
it has been on a steep learning curve that has required it
to gain competency in a wide range of skills and systems
never seen previously in the RAN.
"The level of dedication and determination to suc-
ceed that has been shown by all hands has been fun-
damental to being able to achieve the very challenging
mission we were given of bringing Choules to Australia
by Christmas," CMDR Cowan said.
"These same attributes will be equally important to
us as we complete the WUP and our other programmed
One of Choules' recent challenges involved hosting a
SKY News broadcast onboard to mark Australia Day.
Choules was also in the media spotlight when she
was officially welcomed to Sydney in December last
year following her commissioning in Fremantle.
Australian Fleet Commander RADM Steve Gilmore
said Choules marked a new era in the delivery of amphib-
ious capability for the ADF.
"It is practically a brand new ship in very good mate-
riel condition with significant capability," he said.
At 176m long and 26m wide, Choules contains a
flight deck capable of holding two large helicopters and
a vehicle deck that is able to hold 150 light vehicles and
The interior of the ship has significantly more living
and recreational space than former amphibious HMA
Ships Manoora and Kanimbla -- single and double
berth cabins for most of the ship's company through to
24-berth mess decks for the embarked military forces.
Choules is equipped for the current crew of 158 and
can embark a further 350 personnel.
The 16,000-tonne amphibious ship was commis-
sioned on December 13 after being purchased from
Britain's Royal Fleet Auxiliary and officially handed
over to the RAN in October 2011.
The ship's pennant number L100 is a tribute to
Navy's 100th year of Royal Assent.
Choules was blessed by chaplains Paul Raj, Steve
Gunther and Duncan Becsi.
Choules is named after Claude Choules who died on
May 5, 2011, and was Australia's last surviving World
War I veteran.
STEADY SHE GOES: HMAS Choules ship's
company line up for arrival at Fleet Base East
(top), as (inset) CMDR John Cowan looks out
from the bridge.
Photos: LSIS Nina Nikolin
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