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April 11, 2013
AT A quiet gathering held at Fleet
Base West on March 5, United
States Navy (USN) exchange
officer CMDR Travis Petzoldt
was farewelled by his col-
leagues at Australia’s Submarine
During his two-year tenure
with the RAN, CMDR Petzoldt
performed the role of Principle
Staff Officer – Operations for the
During his farewell,
Commander Submarines CAPT
Mark Potter commended CMDR
Petzoldt for his knowledge, dedica-
tion and unwavering commitment.
“CMDR Petzoldt has served
with distinction. He has been
instrumental in addressing long-standing
deficiencies, and has systematically
improved the operational planning and
audit processes on board the subma-
rines,” CAPT Potter said.
“He has also used his Mk48 ADCAP
torpedo knowledge to not only ensure
the most optimal use of each weapon,
but to also broaden the knowledge of
each and every submariner associated
with its employment.
“His operational planning and
forethought has served the Australian
submarine community well during this
CMDR Petzoldt’s performance dur-
ing his exchange has also been recog-
nised by the USN, highlighted by his
selection to be the CO of the fast attack
submarine USS City of Corpus Christie,
based in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
He’ll reluctantly hand over his
Australian position to USN LCDR
Travis Zettel, who has just completed his
studies at the US Naval War College in
Newport, Rhode Island.
CMDR Petzoldt said he would leave
with fond memories of Australia.
“My wife Kulia, daughter Maya and
Force says farewell
to US commander
LEUT Sarah West
THE Navy, supported by the RAAF,
has conducted a successful mari-
time exercise with the Royal Thai
Navy, demonstrating how well the
two nations can operate effectively
HMAS Parramatta travelled
to Thailand to conduct Exercise
AUSTHAI 2013, held from March
19-22, with the Royal Thai Navy’s
HTM Ships Rattanakosin and
The three ships were joined by
two maritime patrol aircraft – an
AP-3C Orion from the RAAF and a
Royal Thai Navy Dornier 228.
The primary aim of the exercise,
held in the Gulf of Thailand, was to
practise maritime warfare skills and
to strengthen naval interoperability,
including through the application of
maritime patrol aircraft.
During the exercise, Parramatta
and her Thai counterparts practised
gunnery exercises, collectively
known as ‘maritime interdiction’,
and the Australian crew also dem-
onstrated Navy’s firefighting and
damage control techniques.
The exercise had a heavy focus
on the conduct of maritime board-
ing operations, allowing participants
to hone boarding skills and discuss
mutual lessons learned from deploy-
ments to the Middle East.
CO Parramatta CMDR Simon
Cannell said the success of the exer-
cise should give both nations great
confidence in their maritime secu-
“Exercises like this are extreme-
ly important because it’s essential
to our mission of maintaining mari-
time security in this region that we
have the ability to work together
with all of our South-East Asian
neighbours,” he said.
“Considering the ever-present
threat of piracy, boarding skills are
particularly important, and I was
impressed by how effectively our
two nations worked together when
we practiced these all-important
I absolutely loved our time in Australia,”
CMDR Petzoldt said.
“It has an amazing amount to offer
in natural splendour, culture, lifestyle
and sport, and we know we didn’t cover
“We are definitely leaving with a bit
of sadness, but so overjoyed that we had
the opportunities we did. We met many
great people and made some very good
The experienced submariner said
he had a high opinion of Australia’s
“The crews are great – very good at
what they do and dedicated to the trade.
Submarines are complex machines;
they require a lot of effort and technical
expertise, no matter what Navy you are
in,” he said.
“It was great to be working alongside
the superb submariners and the rest of
the RAN, to achieve so much success
over the time I have been here.
“Everyone made me feel right at
home, and I felt like I belonged pretty
quickly, which was fantastic.
“I’m excited about the future of
Australia’s Submarine Force, and I look
forward to working with them again.”
TOP JOB: CAPT Mark Potter presents
CMDR Travis Petzoldt with a commendation
for dedication and exemplary performance.
Photo: LSIS James Whittle
WORKING TOGETHER: HMAS Parramatta recovers a Royal Thai Navy Seahawk for hot refuel and
relaunch a submarine warfare serial during Exercise AUSTHAI.
Photo: POEW Martin Anderson
ALL three Services once again
provided a strong military pres-
ence at the annual Relay for Life
in Canberra to raise awareness and
funds for cancer research.
The Canberra event ran from
March 16-17 and raised almost
$400,000 for the Cancer Council,
of which Defence personnel raised
more than $10,000.
The event was one of many held
around Australia, where teams of 10
or more challenged themselves to
keep their baton moving in a relay-
style walk or run around a track.
Some members participating had
recently lost relatives to cancer.
OCDT Ian Brooks took home
an award for walking 52km with
full pack and webbing during the
Helping relay an important message
A number of ADFA cadets took
part and they look set to make this
their major fundraising event of the
year in preparation for next year’s
The traditional candle-lighting
ceremony at dusk provided a mov-
ing time of reflection and remem-
brance as people lit candles to sup-
port those living with cancer and
honour those lost to the disease. The
Canberra Relay for Life has grown
enormously, from raising $39,000
in 2000 to almost $400,000 in 2011.
Donations can still be made online until
the end of April at: www.relayforlife.
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