Home' Navy News : August 1st 2013 Contents Permanent,
Course and Transit
www.defence.gov.au/news/NAVYNEWS August 1, 2013
HMAS Shepparton's hydrographic
department has been hard at work
conducting high-resolution surveys
of the Australian coastline.
The Paluma-class survey motor
launch (SML) is conducting sur-
vey operations between Clarence
Strait and the approaches to Darwin
CO Shepparton LCDR Michael
Kumpis said the aim of the surveys
was to support the transit of large
cruise ships to and from Darwin via
the Clarence and Dundas Straits.
"Shepparton is currently in com-
pany with HMAS Benalla conduct-
ing a survey of the Clarence Strait,"
LCDR Kumpis said.
"We're aiming to define a chan-
nel for deeper draught vessels into
and out of Darwin via the Clarence
"This will be of particular bene-
fit to cruise ships using the Howard
Channel through the Vernon Island
group, as a faster and more pictur-
esque approach to Darwin."
He said Navy hydrographers
provided a vital service to mariners.
"By charting the sea lanes we
enable safe navigation for trade and
recreation," he said.
"This not only helps protect the
safety of life at sea, but also our
precious marine environment.
"Hydrography is one of Navy's
maritime warfare specialist skills."
LCDR Kumpis said when
hydrographers arrived in a new sur-
vey area one of the first things they
did was establish a tidal network
so that all the soundings gathered
could have the tide value removed
to determine the least depth on the
sea floor at all times.
"We do this by laying offshore
tide gauge rigs," LCDR Kumpis said.
"We then run a series of pre-
planned parallel lines within our
designated survey boundaries using
our multibeam echo sounder and
side scan sonar equipment to chart
the sea floor.
"Once we have collected all the
data, the gauges are recovered, the
tidal data is sent to the Australian
Hydrographic Office for analysis and
then applied to our final dataset."
Shepparton and Benalla are two
of four SMLs each with a gross ton-
nage of 468. They are fitted out for
work in shallow and constrained
Each SML carries the latest in
survey and computerised hydrograph-
ic data processing equipment and is
fitted with the latest navigation aids.
the seas strait
ON DECK: (L-R) HMAS Shepparton's Hydrographic Department members LSHSO Peter Coates,
ABHSO Elizabeth Ball, ABHSO Scott Tabram, ABHSO Beau Wallace and ABHSO Ethan Ward during a
survey operation of the Clarence Strait.
LCDR David Bettell
AN IMPORTANT navigation
course is next on the agenda for
HMAS Warramunga after she com-
pleted a high-tempo program in
support of Operation Resolute.
Over the last couple of months
Warramunga's crew participated
in the full range of border protec-
tion tasks, which CO Warramunga
CMDR Dave Tietzel said were both
"challenging and professionally
stimulating for all on board".
CMDR Tietzel said the crew
was intensely focused on the task
during Resolute, but was also
looking forward to participating
in the navigation course in North
Queensland from August 5-16.
"The RAN's Surface Combatant
Navigation Course, formally known
as 'Long-N', is undertaken by stu-
dents in order to become a naviga-
tor specialist for frigate-sized war-
ships," CMDR Tietzel said.
"Warramunga will work in com-
pany with HMA Ships Sirius and
Sydney for a busy two-week practical
evaluation period, designed to assess
and certify the Navy's next group of
Major Fleet Unit navigators.
"While operating on the
Queensland coast, port visits are
planned for Cairns and Mackay to
allow a break for the ship's com-
In late August, Warramunga's
ship's company will bid farewell to
the ship as she enters the ASMD
Warramunga is programmed to
relocate her home port to Fleet Base
East on completion of her upgrade
in Western Australia.
Warramunga's next phase
TRACKING THE TIDES:
LSHSO Peter Coates and
ABHSO Elizabeth Ball get
ready to deploy the tide gauge
on board HMAS Shepparton.
LSIS Helen Frank
PROVING that age hasn't slowed her
down, HMAS Tarakan celebrated her
40th birthday on June 15 just before
sailing for Exercise Sea Lion.
CO Tarakan LEUT Robert Lewis and
youngest crew member ABBM Thomas
Rutter had the honour of cutting the cake
during celebrations on board.
They experienced a feeling of déjà vu
having both cut the cake last year on the
ship's 39th birthday.
It was also a familiar scene for
Tarakan's senior technical officer,
CPOMT Peter Worland, who was also
present for the ship's 10th birthday in
"She's a good ship that has lasted
well," CPO Worland said.
"She is a true workhorse, one of the
best in the Fleet."
Commissioned on June 15, 1973,
Tarakan, a Balikpapan-class landing
craft heavy, has made a significant con-
tribution to Australian amphibious oper-
ations, notably the Interfet peace-keep-
ing mission to Timor-Leste for which the
ship was awarded the Meritorious Unit
Tarakan continues to provide the
ADF with an effective strategic sealift
capability and is currently participating
in Exercise Talisman Saber.
"Tarakan is a fantastic ship and I
have been proud to serve with her crew,"
LEUT Lewis said.
"After 40 years of distinguished ser-
vice, Tarakan continues to get the job
done with enthusiasm and pride and as
her motto states -- 'nothing daunts'."
Birthday sparks memories
CO HMAS Tarakan
LEUT Robert Lewis
and youngest crew
cut the ship's 40th
Photo: SBLT Martin Driver
Warramunga off the coast
of Christmas Island.
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