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March 29, 2012
Cpl Nick Wiseman
THE $10 million Defence of
Darwin Experience was opened on
February 18 to coincide with the
70th anniversary of the bombing
Located at East Point directly in
front of the old Military Museum, it
offers the public an insight into the
attacks on Darwin in 1942 as well as
covering the period from 1932-1945.
Museum director Dr Tom Lewis
said the museum wasn't just about
February 19, 1942.
"During that time period there
were 64 air raids across the NT,
Queensland and WA," Dr Lewis
"The museum is about the
defence of northern Australia with
a special emphasis on that one day
Featuring many static and inter-
active features, the museum is mod-
ern in design with many touch and
One interesting feature is the
character cards visitors pick up
when first entering the museum.
Throughout the museum, visi-
tors can identify their characters on
the interactive displays and find out
where they were during the attacks.
At the end of the tour visitors
can find out what happened to their
characters after the war. Some of the
characters are still alive and attended
the opening of the museum.
Another innovative interactive
feature of the museum is the story
share, which allows people to sit
down and record their own stories to
share with the collection.
"After recording their stories, if
the museum finds they add value
to the collection, contributors could
return later to find themselves in a
display," Dr Lewis said.
"One particular story was the
attack by four Japanese submarines
a month before the bombings.
"They took on Australian and US
warships, with one submarine being
sunk along with the crew, the other
three fled and then the next month
the air carriers arrived to try again."
To find out more about the Defence
of Darwin Experience, go to
Museum puts Darwin in the picture
BOOST: The Government has purchased the Offshore Support Vessel, MSV
Skandi Bergen, a sister ship to the ACV Ocean Protector, pictured here.
Photo courtesy: Customs and Border Protection
Purchase adds further boost
NAVY'S amphibious capability will
be further boosted by the purchase
of the Offshore Support Vessel MSV
Minister for Defence Materiel
Jason Clare said the Skandi Bergen
will bolster the ranks of current
amphibious ships HMAS Choules
and HMAS Tobruk.
The ship will be fitted with a
60-tonne crane, can accommodate
up to 100 people and has more than
1000 square metres of deck space
capable of carrying all Defence
vehicles and equipment.
The purchase of the Skandi
Bergen -- at a cost of less than $130
million -- will ensure that Defence
has the humanitarian and disaster
relief capability required between
now and the arrival of the two new
Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD)
ships in the middle of the decade.
It will primarily be used to trans-
port troops and supplies in support
of domestic and regional humanitar-
ian and disaster relief operations,
while also providing a long term
capability for Customs and Border
After Defence introduces the
LHDs into service, the vessel will be
transferred to Customs and Border
The Skandi Bergen will be able
to undertake patrols in the Southern
Ocean providing surveillance, detec-
tion and apprehension of any ves-
sels operating illegally. The vessel
is able to operate in sub-Antarctic
vessel will require minimal modi-
fications and will enter into service
in the middle of the year and will
be operated under a civilian crewing
The Skandi Bergen is the sister
ship of the ACV Ocean Protector,
currently operated by Customs and
HMAS Melbourne on station
ADELAIDE-class guided-missile frigate
HMAS Melbourne has arrived on station
in the Middle East, taking over Operation
Slipper duties from HMAS Parramatta.
Commander of Australian Forces in
the Middle East, MAJGEN Stuart Smith,
visited HMAS Melbourne and her ship's
company while in Djibouti, Africa.
MAJGEN Smith welcomed the crew
and reinforced the key role the ship plays
in providing maritime security.
The deployment is the 28th rotation by
Navy, signifying almost continuous sup-
port to Combined Maritime Forces in the
Middle East since 1990.
HMAS Parramatta and her ship's
company of approximately 190 men and
women is now heading home to Fleet
Base East, after steaming more than
52,000 nautical miles during her fourth
deployment to the Middle East Area of
MAJGEN Smith praised the men and
women of HMAS Parramatta for a suc-
"HMAS Parramatta has played a sig-
nificant role in maintaining security in
the Gulf waters. I commend her ship's
company for their professionalism, disci-
pline and teamwork."
CO HMAS Parramatta CMDR Guy
Blackburn said the ship's company per-
formed superbly in all aspects.
"This ship's company has represented
Australia at the highest level of opera-
tions and acquitted themselves well.
"They should be extremely proud of
their achievements. They represent the
finest qualities of our sailors and officers
serving in the RAN and ADF," CMDR
During the deployment, a successful
drug disruption operation was conducted
on February 3, netting and disposing of
240kg of illegal narcotics at a value of
more than $5 million.
ALONGSIDE: PO Lance Morris on duty at the Port of Djibouti, Africa, on board HMAS Melbourne as part
of Operation Slipper.
Photo: SGT Mick Davis
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