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www.defence.gov.au/news/NAVYNEWS June 20, 2013
Sailors meet Indian Navy
VISIT: POMTE Peter Boyles
describes Newcastle’s fuelling and
replenishment operations to an
Indian engineering officer (left).
Inset, the Indian Navy’s Southern
Naval Commander in Chief
VADM Satish Soni presents CO
Newcastle CMDR Paul O’Grady
with a commemorative plaque.
SBLT Rachel Jones and
LEUT Suresh Kumar
KOCHI in India was the final port of
call before HMAS Newcastle started
operations in the MEAO.
The visit from May 22-24 provided
valuable engagement with the Indian
Navy and insights into its training and
Newcastle was greeted along-
side by an Indian Navy band and
wasted no time meeting local coun-
terparts, including CO CMDR Paul
O’Grady making an official call on
the Commander in Chief of the Indian
Navy’s Southern Naval Command,
VADM Satish Soni.
A large group of Newcastle offic-
ers and sailors toured the Southern
Training Command’s Anti-Submarine
Warfare School while Indian officers
POMTE Peter Boyles hosted the
Indian officers in Newcastle’s machin-
ery control room where he described
many of the functions to his guests.
“I was surprised by how many sim-
ilarities we had with our host country,”
Other popular activities included
visiting the local markets, touring the
local historical attractions and sam-
pling the large range of local cuisine.
The highlight of the visit was
an official reception hosted on
Newcastle’s flight deck, attended by
the Chief of Staff Southern Naval
Command, RADM Ashok Kumar. The
evening culminated in a ceremonial
sunset, led by ASLT Mitchell Vines as
“It was my first time as Guard
Commander,” he said. “I found myself
apprehensive as to how it would pan
out; however, while marching off I felt
impressed with the professionalism
displayed by the guard.”
Deputy Maritime Logistics Officer
LEUT Meghann Walker ensured the
night was a success as Newcastle’s
supply personnel presented a variety of
Australian foods to the Indian guests.
“It was a great night, with members
from all departments pitching in; it
was fortunate that the monsoon rains
did not eventuate,” she said.
Newcastle departed Kochi on May
24 accompanied by the Indian offshore
patrol vessel INS Sharda.
The day involved a range of evolu-
tions including officer-of-the-watch
manoeuvres, boarding of vessels by
respective boarding parties and cross-
decking of personnel.
Newcastle’s Deputy Weapons
Engineering Officer LEUT Dallas Gray
said the cross-decking let him experi-
ence a day at sea in the Indian Navy.
“The day began with a ship tour with
the highlight being the engineering
spaces,” LEUT Gray said.
“They operate very similar to us,
including rank structure, deck mark-
ings, piping and general routines.”
Newcastle also hosted two young
Indian Navy officers, LEUT Kishore
and LEUT Bhalerao.
SBLT Matthew Stobo
HMAS Newcastle conducted her first
port visit in the Middle East, to Fujairah
in the United Arab Emirates on May 31.
The 24-hour stopover included a visit
from JTF633 Command Team, storing
ship, receipt of some ‘snail mail’ and the
opportunity for two siblings to reunite.
Deputy Commander JTF633
AIRCDRE Tony Needham addressed
the ship’s company on the importance of
a maritime presence in the MEAO and
noted the continued commitment of the
RAN, thanking Newcastle’s ship’s com-
pany for the part they are playing.
It was a short, 24-hour taste of the
UAE heat (36°C, 99.2 per cent humid-
ity) for the ship’s company, with the visit
devoted to supplying the crew with the
required stores and victuals to continue
their first patrol.
Eager to beat the heat the crew
headed to their respective mess to see if
they were lucky enough to receive a care
package in the 356kg of mail which was
delivered. The mail was a hit throughout
the ship, with some receiving numerous
parcels from home.
Chocolate, magazines, newspapers
and photos were warmly welcomed, with
any connection to home and family being
The visit also gave Newcastle sailor
ABMT Carl Brennan a chance to catch
up with his sister, ABML-P Natalie
Brennan, currently based at Al Minhad
Air Base in the United Arab Emirates.
The able seamen had not seen each
other for 10 months, and they became the
third pair of siblings to be reunited dur-
ing the trip so far.
“When I saw my sister on the gang-
way while waiting for the oil truck I
couldn’t believe it,” AB Carl Brennan
“She surprised me with a massive
hug, and then we got to catch up for
maybe an hour before she had to leave.”
Newcastle sailed again the following
morning to continue her first Op Slipper
Crew gets taste of heat
in United Arab Emirates
GOOD TIMES: POMLP Brenda Cox brings some of the 350kg of mail to the
ship’s office so she can distribute it.
Photo: POEW Ben White
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