Home' Navy News : October 25th 2012 Contents October 25, 2012
SPECIAL LIFTOUT ON HMAS SYDNEY
'' -- SMNMT BEN JAY
It was the best and most rewarding day I've
had since we've been in Japan.
LSIS Paul Berry
AN international tug-of-war set the scene
for new friendships during the build-up to
Japan's International Fleet Review.
HMAS Sydney fielded two teams in the
colourful and raucous tournament, facing
off against teams from the Singaporean,
US and Japanese navies at the Yokosuka
The competition was as tight as the
rope separating the teams.
After a victory over USS Shiloh,
Sydney's two sides bowed out to superior
tug-of-war techniques used by the JMSDF
The Australians then led the way in
cheering on the remaining teams, with the
other nations joining them in a celebration
ABCSO Simon Taylor said the event
"It was crazy how everyone had so
much fun getting into it and supporting
each other," he said.
"I really enjoyed it and the Japanese
hosted us so well, giving us headbands and
cheering us on."
The Japanese took out the event and
the Sydney teams presented a Sherrin
AFL football to thank their hosts.
The ensuing confusion about the shape
of the ball was the source of much amuse-
ment between the two nations.
LSIS Paul Berry
and WO John Brady
A GROUP of HMAS Sydney's
finest made a goodwill jour-
ney to lend support to victims
of Japan's 2011 earthquake, tsu-
nami and nuclear power plant
The 14 ambassadors made a
five-hour journey from Sydney's
berth in Yokosuka, to Iino, in the
Fukashima Prefecture, to meet
with the displaced people from
The entire population of Iitate
was evacuated from their homes
because of radiation level con-
cerns following the Fukashima
nuclear power plant explosions.
Personnel handed out gifts of
stickers, posters, rulers, pens and
balloons to children at the Iino
pre-school, before moving to a
They were given the opportu-
nity to listen as students told of
their experiences since the dis-
aster and their hopes and dreams
for the future.
SMNMT Ben Jay said it was
amazing to hear what the chil-
dren had been through.
"They were exposed to
radiation through the water and
through the snow, but they were
the happiest, nicest people with
great spirit," he said.
"It was the best and most
rewarding day I've had since
we've been in Japan."
Sydney's volunteers also
helped students with their
LCDR Linda Morris said she
was inspired by the Iitate people's
effort to stay as one community.
"I was really honoured that
they took the time to tell their
stories," LCDR Morris said.
"Their future is in limbo but
they demonstrated their strength
and happiness and it was very
from new friends
723SQN FLYING HIGH
FIGHTING EFFORT: One of HMAS
Sydney's tug-of-war teams shows the
strain of competition.
LSIS Paul Berry
LIFE on board HMAS Sydney has been
an unforgettable experience for the
embarked aviation team.
The 12-person team from 723SQN
and their Squirrel joined Sydney on
September 7, just as the ship was mid-
way through its demanding Unit
Readiness Evaluation (URE) in prepara-
tion for the North and South East Asian
If that's not challenging enough, it is
the first time at sea for the majority of
Not only did they make the URE
grade, they have been relishing every
minute on board.
ABATV Justin Macey, who recently
completed his maintainers competency
log at 723SQN, said his first experience
at sea had him feeling like he was part of
"Joining Sydney in the middle of a
workup was jaw-dropping," he said.
"All of a sudden I was climbing
through cabins full of smoke with the
green team (Sea Training Group) yelling
in my ear, it was fantastic.
"It's all new to us, but we jumped in
Flight commander LEUT Luke Mein
said it had been a steep learning curve for
"The guys are learning about
embarked aviation for the first time, as
well as integrating with ship's company,
conducting damage control exercises and
learning ship's routines," he said.
"It's been demanding, but they've all
performed really well.
"During our first week the flight
pitched in to as many different exercises
as they could, always smiling, enjoying
themselves and staying motivated which
has been contagious."
It's the first time 723SQN personnel
have been to sea since April 2011, due to
the high training demand at their home
base, HMAS Albatross.
"These deployments offer enormous
training value for our people and don't
come around very often," LEUT Mein
said.LSA Liam Carruthers said the experi-
ence was valuable consolidation for his
training, having completed his aircrew
course in late July.
"It's what you dream about as an air-
crewman, to get the call to go to sea
straight off course," he said.
Pilot LEUT Morgan Carter said being
at sea was what he joined the Navy to do.
"Up until now we've done a lot of
reading about operations from ships, so
actually being able see it and see how all
the rules apply definitely helps," he said.
During Sydney's deployment, the
team will run through deck landings, sur-
face searches, vertical replenishments,
winching, instrument approaches and
personnel transfers to foreign ships.
"The team is constantly picking up
new skills that will be transferable to other
operational aircraft types and will allow
it to progress competencies necessary for
promotion, so this sort of experience is
vital for development," LEUT Mein said.
HELPING HAND: LSCSO Eric
Mellberg and SMNBM Ashley
Sartor hand out gifts to the
children of Iitate village during
their goodwill visit.
IN CONTROL: Flight deck marshaller
LSATV Brad Boyd signals the flight
deck team to return to their safe
positions on HMAS Sydney.
Photos: LSIS Paul Berry
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