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July 19, 2012
HMAS Penguin will cel-
ebrate seven decades
of operation, on July 20,
with a lunch for the ship's
company to open the refurbished
Sir David Martin Mess, Penguin's
combined officers' and senior sail-
The refurbishment project,
being managed by Defence Support
Group, will update base infrastruc-
ture as well as providing modern
training facilities for the RAN
Diving School (RANDS) and the
Submarine and Underwater Medical
CO Penguin CMDR Paul Doble
said construction commenced in
December 2011 and is due to be
completed by December 2013.
"Penguin has been around for
quite a long time and the refurbish-
ment is long overdue," he said.
"Training will be conducted in
purpose-built facilities in a modern
The RANDS East refurbishment
includes construction of a new three-
storey building with training space,
support facilities for the dive train-
ing pool, a library, administrative
and support facilities for instructors,
and a new pedestrian access.
Two heritage-listed buildings
will also be fitted with equipment
rooms, drying rooms, direct access
to water, change facilities, water-
front classroom, store rooms and
The refurbishment of the
RANDS Pittwater Annexe will
be completed later this year and
include a new mezzanine floor, cov-
ered entry, highlight windows and
an ambulance bay.
The SUMU refurbishment
involves the construction of a new
two-storey building with medi-
cal treatment facilities, consulting
rooms, offices, medical workshops
and a new pedestrian access.
The project also includes refur-
bishment of the entry and gate-
house, the re-compression chamber
facility and waterfront civil works.
Also included is an upgrade
of high voltage electricity, voice
communications, fire and security
alarms, fire hydrant and sprinkler
water supply, and natural gas net-
"The project will also reduce
Penguin's environmental footprint
through improvements to the pota-
ble water, trunk sewerage drainage
and stormwater drainage system,"
CMDR Doble said.
He said the project had so far
unearthed relics of Penguin's war-
time history with the discovery of
beer bottles marked 1942 and other
"Penguin has a proud history
and tradition and has filled various
important roles reflecting recurring
themes of operations, diving, health
care and training," CMDR Doble
said.Penguin's primary role is to
provide trained personnel to the
Fleet and is home to the RANDS,
the Medical Training School, the
RAN Hydrographic School and the
Maritime Role 2 Enhanced training
and support facility.
HMAS Penguin will mark its 70th anniversary later this month with
the best birthday present imaginable -- a $63.34 million facelift to
significantly spruce up the Sydney base, Michael Brooke reports.
NEW FACE: Above, the current front entry and gatehouse of HMAS Penguin, and below, the proposed
front entry due to be finished by December 2013.
FRESH OUTLOOK: Above, the current RANDS building, and below, the
refurbishment will include a new three-story building, training and support areas,
library and new pedestrian access.
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