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LEUT Robert Perry
THE prospect of handing over and heading home
after a long deployment is reason enough to smile
but for three members of HMAS Newcastle there
was added incentive.
When Newcastle handed over Operation Slipper
responsibilities to sister ship HMAS Melbourne on
September 24 in the MEAO, three members had
the opportunity to cross deck, shake their brothers'
hands and wish them well as they continued the
mission on Melbourne.
For LSET Chris Lewis, of Newcastle, the chance
to catch up on family events made the trip home
even sweeter as his brother, LSCIS Daniel Lewis,
works in Melbourne's communications centre.
"It was awesome to be able to catch up with Dan
and congratulate him in person on his engagement,"
LS Lewis said.
"I look forward to seeing him again in six
Following the helicopter ride across to
Melbourne's flight deck, LSBM Shaun Ryan
did not waste time catching up with his brother,
ABCSO Samuel Ryan.
"It's really good to have the opportunity to see
Sam after such a long deployment," LS Ryan said.
"I'm also looking forward to getting home.
I'll have a cold one waiting for him when he gets
Fresh from his role as Newcastle's flight opera-
tions officer, where their Seahawk has completed
more than 300 hours of flying operations, LEUT
Timothy Craig knows his brother, LEUT Thomas
Craig, has his work cut out for him.
"It's great to catch up," LEUT Timothy Craig
"As we both have the same job on board, I'm
in the unique position of having my brother as my
opposite number, therefore it's also a good feeling
to be handing over the reins and heading home."
LEUT Tom Craig said Melbourne's team was up
for the challenge.
"I really enjoyed having the opportunity to see
my brother. It's an opportunity very few people get
and it was nice to catch up, if only briefly," he said.
"Melbourne's crew has shown during our recent
work up period that we are more than ready for the
job ahead and I can't wait to contribute to the mis-
sion from an airborne perspective. I look forward
to catching up with my brother, my partner and the
rest of my family on our return to Australia."
LEUT Dave Osborne
HMAS Newcastle conducted
her last port visit in the MEAO
when she pulled into Fujairah in
the United Arab Emirates on
It was a fitting location as
Fujairah was Newcastle's first offi-
cial port of call during the deploy-
ment that it started back in May.
Commander JTF633 MAJGEN
Craig Orme visited Newcastle and
addressed the crew on the flight
He thanked the sailors and offic-
ers for their performance and con-
duct and congratulated the team on
their collective achievements.
"You have lived by Navy's val-
ues and lived the Navy Signature
Behaviours by acting in a way that
has brought credit to your ship,
Navy and Australia," MAJGEN
"It has been a truly remarkable
performance. You have performed
superbly by conducting over 150
boarding events and steaming more
than 58,000km already, with more
to come on the trip home."
While Newcastle's achievements
belong to the entire crew, several
individuals were singled out for
Family ties in the MEAO
Commanding visit during
fitting final port of call
MAJGEN Orme awarded
CJTF633 silver commendations
to LCDR Chris Fingleton, LCDR
Ludovic Miller and CPOML-SC
CJTF633 bronze commen-
dations were awarded to CPOET
Graeme Cruickshank, POCSS
Rodney Cohen, LSBM Shaun Ryan
and ABMT Thomas Ireland.
Australian Active Service
Medals with the International
Coalition against Terrorism clasp
and Afghanistan Medals were also
presented to the crew.
Newcastle's weapons electrical
engineering officer LCDR Miller
said he was surprised to have his
"When my name was called, I
was completely taken aback," he said.
"Even though I was individually
acknowledged today, this award is an
acknowledgement of the efforts of
the weapons electrical engineering
department's officers and sailors."
BAND OF BROTHERS: (L-R) LEUT Thomas Craig, ABCSO Samuel Ryan and LSCIS Daniel Lewis, of HMAS Melbourne, gather with
their respective brothers, LSET Chris Lewis, LSBM Shaun Ryan and LEUT Tim Craig, of HMAS Newcastle, in the junior sailors cafe on
board Melbourne during the handover in the MEAO.
Photo: ABIS Jayson Tufrey
LISTEN IN: Commander JTF633 MAJGEN Craig Orme talks to the
crew of HMAS Newcastle during a port visit to Fujairah.
Photo: POIS Phil Cullinan
CHANGE OVER: HMA Ships Newcastle and Melbourne pass each other as Melbourne takes over from Newcastle on Operation Slipper.
Photo: LSA Richard Close
For more on
in the MEAO, see
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