Home' Navy News : February 2nd 2012 Contents By LEUT Marrion Rouwhorst
TWO of the Royal Australian
Navy's Survey Motor Launch ves-
sels took to the seas during the
pre-Christmas period to improve
navigational safety in the south-
HMA ships Mermaid, com-
manded by LCDR David Sowter,
and Paluma, commanded by LCDR
Mhanda Tokesi, embarked on a
three-week engagement to Port Vila,
The deployment involved mari-
time surveillance operations enroute
to Vanuatu, hydrographic survey
support in Port Vila Harbour, and an
official reception on board HMAS
The Survey Motor Launches
conducted a hydrographic survey in
support of the ADF's regional assis-
tance program, at the request of the
Vanuatu Commissioner of Police.
Port Vila has become a popular
tourist destination for large cruise
vessels and Mermaid and Paluma
were tasked with surveying the
approaches to the harbour as well as
the main wharf and approaches to
the patrol boat base.
Survey operations were conduct-
ed by both vessels using multi-beam
echo sounders. The shallow water
survey operations were conducted
by Mermaid's Light Utility Boat the
Enroute to Vanuatu, Mermaid
and Paluma were assigned to pro-
vide support to Operation Solania,
the ongoing maritime surveillance
operation to support the Pacific
Island countries in fisheries law
Once alongside Port Vila, with
all survey and surveillance opera-
tions complete, the crews enjoyed
a four-day port visit to experience
the vibrant and diverse culture of
Vanuatu. Activities included div-
ing in the waters off Espiritu Santo
on the USS President Coolidge,
INQUIRY INTO UNRESOLVED RECOGNITION FOR PAST ACTS
OF NAVAL AND MILITARY GALLANTRY AND VALOUR
The Defence Honours and Awards Appeals Tribunal (the Tribunal) is directed to
inquire into and report on the appropriate recognition for specific acts of gallantry
or valour perfor med by the following naval and military person nel:
Gun ner Albert Neil (Neale) Cleary - Ar my
Midshipman Robert Ian Davies - Navy
Leading Cook Francis Bassett Emms - Navy
Lieutenant David John Hamer - Navy
Private John Simpson Kirkpatrick - Ar my
Lieutenant Commander Robert William Rankin - Navy
Able Seaman Dalmorton Joseph Owendale Rudd - Navy
Ordinary Seaman Edward Sheean - Navy
Leading Aircrewman Noel Er vin Shipp - Navy
Lieutenant Com mander Francis Edward Smith - Navy
Lieutenant Commander Henry Hugh Gordon Stoker - Royal Navy
Leading Seaman Ronald Taylor - Navy
Captain Hector Macdonald Laws Waller - Navy
The Tribunal is directed to make recommendations on the eligibility of the naval
and military members, as listed, to be awarded the Victoria Cross, the Victoria
Cross for Australia or other for ms of appropriate recognition for their gallantry or
The Tribunal is conducting public hearings to hear evidence in relation to this
matter. The following hearings will be conducted in February and March 2012.
Sydney -- Wednesday 8 and Thursday 9 February 2012 commencing at 9am at the
Mercure Sydney 818-820 George St, Sydney.
Adelaide -- Tuesday 14 Febr uary 2012 commencing at 10am at the Crowne Plaza,
Hindmarsh Square, Adelaide.
Perth -- Wednesday 15 Febr uary 2012 commencing at 1pm at the Novotel Langley,
221 Adelaide Terrace, Perth.
Brisbane -- Tuesday 13 March 2012 commencing at 1pm at the Royal on the Park,
Cor ner of Alice and Albert Streets, Brisbane.
After a preliminary consideration of the submissions received concer ning the
naval and military members listed above, the Tribunal has invited a number of
those who have made written submissions to appear as witnesses at these hearings.
Interested members of the public are invited to attend the Tribunal's hearings.
For administrative purposes, please register your interest in attending by
contacting the Tribunal via;
telephone (02) 6266 3486 or e-mail DHA.Tribunal@defence.gov.au.
The terms of reference for this inquiry can be obtained by reviewing the Tribunal
website at: www.defence-honours-tribunal.gov.au
February 2, 2012
Survey support in Port Vila
ON THE ROPES: ABHSO Golding works the lines as part of
Paluma's FX party coming alongside Port Vila.
THE RAN has assumed command of
combined maritime operations in the
Gulf region of the Middle East with
CDRE Jonathan Mead at the helm of
Combined Task Force 150 (CTF 150).
A small ceremony on December 15
saw CDRE Mead take command from
CDRE John Clink of the Royal Navy
at the US Naval Central Command in
CDRE Mead said it was a privilege to
be entrusted with Australia's third com-
mand of CTF 150. He also welcomed
the addition of Royal New Zealand Navy
personnel to this rotation, led by his
Chief of Staff, CAPT Lance Cook.
"Both the Australian and New
Zealand Defence Force take great pride
in contributing to the coalition efforts
to maintain maritime security in such
a vital region for the stability and eco-
nomic prosperity of the world at large,"
CDRE Mead said.
"Maintaining security over an area
bigger than the continent of Australia is
one of the biggest challenges we face.
"We are looking after many different
navies, but all are really driving towards
one common interest and that's keep-
ing the sea lanes open and making sure
mariners and ships can sail on the waters
freely and safely.
"There are certainly clear linkages
with the war in Afghanistan, both thea-
tres are looking after or trying to prevent
terrorism; one is focused in the land
area and ours is focused in the maritime
domain," CDRE Mead said.
command Glenelg gusto in Malaysia
HMAS Glenelg, under the com-
mand of LCDR Steve Taragel, has
taken time out from its usual patrols
on Operation Resolute for a visit to
Langkawi in Malaysia.
Aware Two's adventure began
after a brief refuelling stop on
Christmas Island. Their mission was
to represent the RAN at the Langkawi
International Maritime and Aerospace
Exhibition (LIMA 11).
But getting there was a potential
challenge. LCDR Taragel says transit-
ing through one of the busiest water-
ways in the world took some getting
"A highlight of the trip for the
Officers of the Watch (experienced
and trainee Junior Officers Under
Training) was to experience the high
contact shipping environments of the
South China Sea and Malacca straits,
with two high-speed transits of the
Malacca straits by night providing a
memorable experience for the bridge
teams," LCDR Taragel said.
For most of the crew, it was their
first time in Langkawi. The exposure
to foreign Navy ships at anchor in
Langkawi was invaluable in providing
Aware Two with exposure to wider
regional Navy units.
The mission continued on the way
home when Glenelg was tasked with
patrolling off the Bayu Undan gas
and oil platform, approximately 250
nautical miles (500km) north-west
of Darwin, about halfway between
Darwin and East Timor.
"The crew enjoyed seeing aspects
of the oil and gas industry up close
and the sheer scale and money
involved in the offshore gas industry,"
BORDER PATROL: Darwin-based patrol boat HMAS Glenelg
patrols off the Bayu Undan gas and oil platform.
(the largest intact and accessible
shipwreck in the world), horse rid-
ing, visiting cascade waterfalls or
simply relaxing in a deck chair on
one of the many beautiful beaches
The visit concluded with an offi-
cial reception on HMAS Paluma on
30 November for local dignitaries
to promote good will and establish-
ment of professional relationships.
Australian, New Zealand and
French High Commissioners were
in attendance as well as the Province
President and local representatives
from the Vanuatu Police, Harbour
and Corporate services.
The Australian Defence Attaché
to the region, CAPT John Maschke,
also a hydrographer, facilitated the
evening and was proud to show off
Mermaid and Paluma's capabilities.
Both ships returned home to
their home port of Cairns in time for
crew members to spend Christmas
with their families.
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