Home' Navy News : October 24th 2013 Contents October 24, 2013 www.defence.gov.au/news/NAVYNEWS
-- MIDN Rene Van Rooyen, HMAS Parramatta
It was a huge honour to be in HMAS Parramatta and to
come through Sydney Heads to mark such an auspicious
moment in Navy history.
MEETING Prince Harry was one of
the many highlights of the IFR for
HMAS Leeuwin's ship's company.
Leeuwin lowered her gangway
for a number of VIPs, including
Governor-General Quentin Bryce, CN
VADM Ray Griggs, Prime Minister
Tony Abbott and Prince Harry dur-
ing the Ceremonial Fleet Review on
Ms Bryce received the royal salute
from the Royal Guard as the Queen's
representative before she boarded
Leeuwin as the reviewing officer for
the fleet of 20 warships in Sydney
Prince Harry and the Royal Guard
looked immaculate in their military
uniforms, as they easily personified the
pomp and pageantry of the big occa-
Maritime warfare officer SBLT
Natasha Gavriel was the first crew
member to meet Prince Harry at the
"I had the pleasure of escorting him
from the quarterdeck to the bridge,
where he met CO Leeuwin LCDR
Wendy Stewart and Prime Minister
Tony Abbott," she said.
SBLT Gavriel joined the Navy
six years ago and never dreamed she
would come face-to-face with royalty.
"I enjoyed a very brief moment
with Prince Harry but it was long
enough to appreciate what a really
lovely and friendly guy he is," she
"I got to salute him, shake his hand,
exchange smiles and take him to the
SBLT Clare White also met Prince
Harry in the bridge.
"Prince Harry said hello to us all,
before settling into conversation with
a number of VIPs including the Prime
Minister," she said.
SBLT White was busy during the
Fleet Review as the officer of the
Leeuwin charms guests
watch, but later in the afternoon had
the opportunity to approach Prince
"I went up to him to say hello and
asked to have a photo taken with him,
which he was quite happy to do," she
said.While the VIPs were being wel-
comed aboard Leeuwin, crowds of
people gathered at all vantage points
around Sydney Harbour, including 100
Navy Cadets at Fort Denison, as tall
ships, recreational craft, cruise ships
and charter vessels cleared the harbour
to make way for the reviewing ship.
After a 100-gun salute fired by
three Hotchkiss cannons, Leeuwin
took pride of place in front of the
Sydney Harbour Bridge where she
commenced the review of HMA Ships
Sydney, Darwin, Perth, Parramatta,
Bundaberg, Diamantina and Huon.
Navy's helicopter display team
took to the skies and a ceremonial fly-
past, led by two 816SQN Seahawks
carrying the Australian flag and the
White Ensign, soared over the harbour.
The formation flypast fea-
tured 808SQN MRH-90s, 723SQN
Squirrels, Bell 429s, the heritage
Iroquois, 173SQN Kiowas and inter-
national craft from France, the UK,
Canada, New Zealand and the US, as
well as RAAF PC-9 Roulettes, F/A-
18 Hornets, Wedgetail AEW&Cs and
LCDR Stewart said it was an amaz-
ing day and everything went according
"Everything we practised for went
off without a hitch," she said with a
sigh of relief.
"The Governor-General and Prince
Harry were very friendly with the
ship's company and interested to know
what we do in the Navy as a hydro-
LCDR Stewart said a lot of hard
work by the crew made the day a great
"It was a very proud occasion for
Leeuwin," she said.
"The unsung heroes of the day
included the cooks who prepared a
range of culinary delights, the engi-
neering department who scrubbed the
ship clean, and the navigators who
went through the route 12 times --
10 times in the simulator at HMAS
Watson and twice on Sydney Harbour.
"We had to make sure we had eve-
rything perfect, and the feedback we
got is that we did, because everybody
had a great time."
STAND PROUD: Governor-General Quentin Bryce inspects
the Royal Guard before embarking in HMAS Leeuwin for the
Ceremonial Fleet Review.
Photo: ABIS Dove Smithett
QUIET CHAT: Prince Harry speaks
with CN VADM Ray Griggs
on HMAS Leeuwin.
Photo: ABIS Dove Smithett
LEADING THE WAY: Review flag ship HMAS Sydney sails past HMAS Leeuwin to start the Ceremonial Fleet Review.
Photo: ABIS Cassie McBride
DESPITE the excitement surround-
ing the IFR it was a case of duty
first for HMAS Melbourne and her
dedicated ship's company.
If not deployed on Operation
Slipper, Melbourne would have
participated in the Fleet Entry as
one of the Navy's original seven
However, the significance of the
IFR was not lost on Melbourne's
company, who paused to reflect
on the historical importance of the
Fleet Entry in 1913.
"The ability to be part of a
historic event on this scale does
not come around very often," CO
Melbourne CMDR Brian Schlegel
"One hundred years ago the
entry into Sydney Harbour would
have been a spectacular sight and
an historic occasion."
CMDR Schlegel said Melbourne
was a special name in the Navy.
"Melbourne's motto is 'vires
acquirit eundo', which is Latin for
'she gathers strength as she goes'.
It sums up what Melbourne has
come to symbolise over the last
100 years and what she means
today on operations in the Middle
East," he said.
CMDR Schlegel said the cente-
nary celebration was special.
"As we commence the Asian
Century and the shift of influ-
ence from the Pacific to the Indian
Ocean, the 2013 IFR symbolises
Australia's place in the world," he
"This new era marks our deep
desire as Australians to contribute
to our regional community and the
Melbourne's IFR focus from the MEAO
From CDF GEN David Hurley
IT IS with great pleasure that
I pass my congratulations and
admiration at the tremendous
effort of the Royal Australian
Navy in organising this spec-
tacular event befitting of this
very important occasion.
All organisers and par-
ticipants should be extremely
proud of what they have ac-
This event has firmly
placed the proud history and
exemplary work of the RAN
in the consciousness of the
people of Australia.
BIG SMILES: (L-R) SBLTs Natasha Gavriel and Clare
White, of HMAS Leeuwin, enjoyed meeting Prince Harry
during the IFR.
Photo: ABIS Nicolas Gonzalez
Links Archive October 10th 2013 November 7th 2013 Navigation Previous Page Next Page