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April 12, 2012
Steber enhances capability
SBLT Sarah West
THE Navy proved itself to be a capa-
ble war-fighting force in March when
the Fleet built on its core competencies
by successfully completing a Complex
Group Warfare (CGW) exercise off the
coast of Western Australia.
In CGW 1-12, HMA Ships
Newcastle, Warramunga, Ballarat and
Sirius were joined by New Zealand
counterparts HMNZ Ships Te Kaha and
Endeavour to hunt the Collins Class
Submarine HMAS Collins in the West
Australian Exercise Area (WAXA).
The Fleet units were also assisted
from the air by Navy S-70B-2 Seahawk
helicopters and RAAF AP-3C Orion air-
While building on core skills consoli-
dated during other activities in the weeks
before, the week-long Complex Group
Warfare exercise was designed to test
a combined task group's ability to con-
duct prolonged anti-submarine warfare
Rather than the serialised nature of
previous exercises, this one involved 72
hours of freeplay.
The results and records of the exer-
cise have already been given a prelimi-
nary analysis by DSTO and Australian
Maritime Warfare Centre (AMWC) staff,
who were briefed after the exercise.
More in-depth analysis will be con-
ducted during coming weeks with final
results distributed to the fleet.
More than 500 officers and sailors
took part in the exercise, which not
only strengthened the interoperability
between Navy and Air Force, but also
between the RAN and the RNZN.
AMWC Commander CAPT Peter
Scott said it was important for the Fleet
to test its skills in the complex and
dynamic environment provided by real-
istic warfare scenarios.
"A major focus of Complex Group
Warfare was to provide units the oppor-
tunity to carry out advanced anti-
submarine warfare as a force led by a
combined task group and an ASW com-
"The units used all the assets and
capabilities available to them, on the
surface, in the air and beneath the waves,
to produce positive results which have
proven the readiness of the fleet and will
boost confidence for the year ahead,"
CAPT Scott said.
The Fleet will continue to hone its
war-fighting skills throughout the year
by taking part in a number of large scale
exercises, both at home and abroad.
In September, the Navy will hold its
second Complex Group Warfare exercise
of 2012 to again test and prove its ability
to operate and fight as a force.
IN TRAINING: LCDR Chris Straughan, CPO Michael Andrews, LCDR
Anthony Pisani, CAPT Peter Scott, LCDR Aleesha Gorton and CMDR Peter
Tedman take part in the Complex Group Warfare exercise in WA.
CLEARANCE divers of AUSCDT-
One became the first unit to receive
a new Steber Harbour Support Craft
The new model Steber was
handed over by CSO Establishments
CAPT John Vandyke and DMO offi-
cials to CO AUSCDT-One LCDR
Brett Dawe at Fleet Base East on
LCDR Dawe said the new
Steber, DMS Koala, would signif-
icantly enhance the capability of
"This effectively doubles our
support craft capability compared to
what we have had access to over the
past few years," he said.
"We will go from just having
Dive Launch Seal which can sup-
port our full range of capabilities
through to Ko ala with enhanced
capability that allows us to deploy
two teams simultaneously in sepa-
The 13.8m HSC is a custom-
built dive boat that completely out-
classes the old Naval Working Boats
employed by the RAN in the har-
bour support role.
DMS Koala features greatly
enhanced electronics including
radar and GPS.
Koala also features three-phase
power and is fitted to facilitate the
full spectrum of underwater dam-
age repair and salvage diving, aside
from deep water jobs.
Between now and August, five
new HSCs will be rolled out to
AUSCDT-One at HMAS Waterhen,
AUSCDT-Four at HMAS Stirling,
RANDS-Sydney, HMAS Cairns and
The delivery of the HSC is part
of a $200m Navy capability pro-
gram to enhance harbour support
craft ranging from a submarine res-
cue ship to new tug-boats and patrol
The Master Attendant, Fleet
Headquarters -- Amphibious and
Afloat Support FEG, CMDR Mark
McIntosh, said the project was
about delivering greater capability
to Navy in a cost-effective and effi-
"It's a milestone for us because
DMS Koala marks the first vessel to
arrive under the contract acquisition
program, which is a process that
supports the Fleet Marine Services
contract," he said.
CUSTOM BUILT: A Steber Harbour Support Craft is used for a ship transfer in Western Australia.
AUSCDT-One is the first unit to receive a new Steber, DMS Koala.
Photo: ABIS Lincoln Commane
THE opening of the pur-
pose-built ADF Military
Law Centre at Sydney's his-
toric Victoria Barracks on
March 29 marked a signifi-
cant step towards continuing
the finest teaching for ADF
members and officers from
the Asia-Pacific region.
The Military Law
Centre was established by
the Department of Defence
in 2001 to provide profes-
sional in-service training for
legal officers and forms the
ADF component of the Asia-
Pacific Military Law Centre.
Secretary Mike Kelly said
the Government committed
in 2008 to build a centre to
house both the ADF Military
Law Centre and the Asia-
Pacific Centre for Military
Law (military node).
The centres will continue
to educate and train future
ADF legal officers and offic-
ers from the Asia-Pacific
region in facets of military
and international law with
a special focus on the rule
"The completion of the
building will be instrumen-
tal in the centres maintain-
ing their existing reputation
as two of the leading mili-
tary academic centres of
their kind in the Asia-Pacific
region," Dr Kelly said.
"It will give the centres
a permanent and purpose-
built home to continue to
provide for and develop the
finest teaching and training
of our own Defence Force
members as well as officers
from around our Asia-Pacific
Law centres now under one roof
LEGAL ADVICE: Head Defence Legal Mark
Cunliffe, left, stands with Defence Parliamentary
Secretary Mike Kelly, right, and Senator for
NSW Matt Thistlethwaite, at the opening of the
Military Law Centre in Sydney.
Photo: ABIS Dove Smithett
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