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February 14, 2013
PERSONNEL are getting ready to
don their leathers and hit the road
to raise money for prostate cancer
In early May, several hundred
ADF and Public Service person-
nel will to ride from Defence bases
across Australia and arrive in Cairns
on May 11.
The Long Ride 2013 will stop in
country towns along the way to raise
money and awareness for prostate
VCDF AIRMSHL Mark Binskin
is planning to join the ride for a cou-
ple of days and, at a recent Show 'n
Shine fundraising event in Canberra,
said the ride was an important event
for personnel to support.
"I am a strong supporter of
health promotion and awareness ini-
tiatives. The Long Ride 2013 is an
important one in supporting men's
health," he said.
Funds raised will support Prostate
Cancer Foundation Australia, which
runs community awareness cam-
paigns and funds research into caus-
es, detection, diagnosis and improved
treatment of prostate cancer. About
3300 Australian men die each year
from prostate cancer.
"I encourage motorcyclists from
across Defence to consider participat-
ing in this important health support
initiative," AIRMSHL Binskin said.
"If you cannot join the Long
Ride or you're not into motorcy-
READY TO RUMBLE: Motorbikies show off their wheels at the Show
'n Shine in Canberra last December.
Photo: David McClenaghan
Long ride ahead for some
cling, I urge you to consider sup-
porting a Defence member who is
"This is an opportunity for peo-
ple to increase their understanding
of prostate cancer specifically and
men's health more broadly."
Riders are responsible for their
Entries close March 1. Any
Defence member wanting to par-
ticipate in the Long Ride can con-
tact Paul Brealey at paul.brealey@
You can support the team in their
effort to raise funds by donating at
For more information about The Long
Ride, visit www.freewebs.com/lon-
CMDR Alastair Cooper
DEFENCE Minister Stephen Smith
ended a chapter in one of the Navy's
more difficult periods when he sent
a letter of apology to the former
CO of HMAS Melbourne II, CAPT
John Stevenson, late last year.
Mr Smith wrote that he believed
CAPT Stevenson had been treated
unfairly by the government of the
day and Navy after the US destroy-
er Frank E. Evans collided with
Melbourne during a South-East
Asian Treaty Organisation exercise
in the South China Sea.
During the Middle Watch on
June 3, 1969, the carrier had five
escorts (three US destroyers and
a frigate each from the RN and
RNZN) disposed in an anti-subma-
rine warfare screen while conduct-
ing an anti-submarine zig-zag plan.
In preparation for flying opera-
tions, Frank E. Evans was ordered
to take up plane guard station from
a sector ahead of Melbourne, a
manoeuvre the two ships had carried
out three times previously that night.
Frank E. Evans turned towards
Melbourne, rather than away from
the carrier which was the norm, thus
putting the ships at risk of collision.
Despite warnings and final
manoeuvring by Melbourne, Frank
E. Evans lacked sufficient situation-
al awareness and she made further
alterations of course, the final one
taking her under Melbourne's bows.
Tragically, 74 US sailors lost
their lives in the collision, mostly
from the forward section of the
destroyer, which sank quickly after-
wards, with most of the remain-
der of the crew being rescued by
Melbourne, her boats and aircraft.
The conduct of the USN-RAN
Board of Inquiry is perceived to
have lacked balance and objectiv-
ity, unfairly suggesting CAPT
Stevenson bore some respon-
sibility for the collision, however
a 1975 USN film (available on
out the 'lessons learnt' was quite
explicit in assigning responsibility
to Frank E. Evans' CO, officer of
the watch and assistant.
Subsequently in Australia, CAPT
Stevenson was court martialled,
which was the traditional, formal
means of determining whether he
bore any responsibility.
Although the court martial
quickly found he had 'no case to
answer' CAPT Stevenson resigned
from the Navy, ending a distin-
guished career in which he served
the nation with honour in peace and
Looking at the episode through
a contemporary lens, Mr Smith was
of the view the government of the
day and the Navy treated CAPT
Stevenson unfairly and that if an
equivalent event occurred today, the
administrative and disciplinary pro-
cesses would be very different to
those of the 1960s and 70s.
HMAS Parramatta departed Fleet
Base East on January 15 on a four-
month deployment to South-East Asia
that will include a stint on Operation
'Strike Deep' was farewelled by
about 100 family and friends when she
began her busy program for 2013, which
will feature a number of port visits and
a multinational exercise designed to
enhance high-end war-fighting.
CO Parramatta CMDR Simon
Cannell said the deployment would
support Australia's diplomatic efforts
in the region as a partner in peace and
"Parramatta starts her deployment
supporting border protection opera-
tions as part of Resolute before visiting
ports in South-East Asia and northern
Australia," he said.
Parramatta is scheduled to conduct
a port visit to Darwin before visiting
Langkawi, Penang and Singapore as
part of her South-East Asian deploy-
ment, before rejoining Resolute.
Later in the year, Parramatta is
scheduled to join Exercise Talisman
Sabre 13, a US-led Australian sup-
ported exercise designed to improve
combat training, readiness and interop-
After this high-end war-fighting
exercise Parramatta plans to participate
in Exercise Triton Centenary and the
International Fleet Review in October.
right a wrong
TRAGIC EVENTS: HMAS Melbourne II circa 1969.
SETTING SAIL: HMAS Parramatta sails out of Sydney Harbour for a four-month deployment from Fleet Base
East. Inset, SMNCSO Alicia Pryce is seen off by her boyfriend's mother Elena on the wharf.
Photos: ABIS Cassie McBride and ABIS Chantell Bianchi
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