Home' Navy News : August 15th 2013 Contents 3
August 15, 2013 www.defence.gov.au/news/NAVYNEWS
Hammerhead crane to be
dismantled at Garden Island
Perth ready for action
LEUT Andrew Herring
HMAS Perth is ready for action
after completing a successful unit
readiness evaluation (URE) that
tested the crew's competency
across all aspects of operations.
Navy's Sea Training Group
embarked in Perth on July 13, just
before Exercise Talisman Saber 13,
to train and mentor the crew as they
worked toward this important training
CO Perth CAPT Lee Goddard
described the achievement of a URE
as a vote of confidence in the ship
and its crew.
"The evaluation is about dem-
onstrating to ourselves and to
COMAUSFLT that our training has
reached a point that we are 'ready for
action'," he said.
"It's a formal recognition that we
have demonstrated we know our jobs
individually, as teams within the ship
and that the whole ship's company
is working together to make Perth a
formidable fighting ship."
Achieving unit readiness is some-
thing all ships must do.
It's not an easy process and can
take several months, beginning
with a program of low-level train-
ing designed to establish or refresh
skills in individual crew members and
ship departments, and then develop-
ing those skills until the whole ship
works together as an effective fight-
It includes warfighting -- defend-
ing against airborne, surface and
sub-surface threats -- using the ship's
torpedoes, missiles and 5-inch gun,
along with damage control, fire fight-
ing and responding to toxic hazards
and other emergencies.
Traditional seamanship skills
including navigation, manoeuvring,
ship handling and small boat opera-
tions were tested, as were the ship's
communications, weapons and sensor
maintenance and engineering teams.
The vital support people such as
cooks, stewards, medics, and admin-
istrators were also evaluated.
Perth's ability to operate in close
proximity with other ships, and to
safely embark and operate a helicop-
ter have also been tested and proven.
"Our training effort to achieve this
result on the evaluation has been a
four-month journey," CAPT Goddard
"It has been interspersed with
an intensive trials program on data
link and combat system components
associated with the anti-ship missile
"A lot of high-end trials and train-
ing milestones have been set for this
ship and they've all been met because
of the goodwill and focus of the
"They have engaged external con-
tractors and stakeholders and all have
worked together well.
"The crew has worked extremely
hard and I was very proud of them
when we were told we had achieved
the standard required of us."
FOR more than 60 years the ham-
merhead crane has towered above the
sailors and warships that have inhab-
ited the Navy's busiest naval base at
Garden Island in Sydney.
But the hammerhead crane will
live on only in memory and as muse-
um pieces after it was announced on
August 8 that it would be dismantled
to allow Defence to use Garden Island
to its best possible advantage.
The decision was announced at
Fleet Base East by Parliamentary
Secretary David Feeney after approval
was granted by the Department of
Sustainability, Environment, Water,
Population and Communities for its
Assistant Secretary Environment
and Engineering, Defence Support
and Reform Group, Michael Healy,
said removing the crane would miti-
gate a safety risk to sailors of fall-
ing debris and save Defence around
$700,000 a year in costs.
"The crane hasn't been used for 16
years, its functions being taken over
by mobile cranes," Mr Healy said.
"It is rusted and corroded, and is
more than 60 years old.
Mr Healy also said the crane
added a layer of complexity when
maintaining and repairing ships.
The removal of the crane will her-
ald a new era for Garden Island
as it becomes home to the new
Hobart-class air warfare destroy-
ers (AWDs) and Canberra-class
landing helicopter docks (LHD),
the first of which is due to arrive
in early 2014.
The decision to remove the
crane comes after a thorough
environmental impact assess-
ment which considered heritage
impacts and included public con-
The conditions of approval
require the high heritage value
components of the crane to be
identified and salvaged.
An archival record will be
made of the crane and its history
will be documented by Defence
and these records will be available
to the public.
Defence is committed to
maintaining both the operational
effectiveness of Garden Island
in supporting the Fleet and also
managing Garden Island's historic
MAKING ROOM: The hammerhead crane at Fleet Base East is
to be dismantled.
Photo: ABIS Sarah Ebsworth
effort to achieve
has been a four-
-- CAPT Lee Goddard,
CO HMAS Perth
PASSING WITH FLYING
Perth transits toward
the Talisman Saber
rendezvous point to
meet with a detachment
of the US Navy's 7th
Fleet. Inset, LSET Cristy
Harelman forms up with
other members of HMAS
Perth's ship's company.
Photos: LSIS Yuri Ramsey
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