Home' Navy News : November 7th 2013 Contents 2 NEWS
www.defence.gov.au/news/NAVYNEWS November 7, 2013
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SERVING AUSTRALIA WITH PRIDE NEWS
N AVA L Air Station Nowra,
HMAS Albatross, provided sup-
port to a range of emergency ser-
vices aircraft working to suppress
a bushfire within remote country
30km inland from Ulladulla.
Both rotary and fixed wing
aircraft from the NSW Rural Fire
Service were given access to the
base from October 18.
Albatross Airfield Coordination
Officer LEUT Martin Burton said
the base was kept busy.
"There was a lot of activity on
the airfield," LEUT Burton said.
"We had up to 16 aircraft using
Albatross as an operational base,
primarily for refuelling but also
for collecting retardant to dump on
"As a result, the Airfield
Coordination Centre was kept very
busy handling significantly more
aircraft than usual."
He said there was an increase
in radio calls as pilots were unfa-
miliar with the airfield and were
dealing with reduced visibility as a
result of the fires.
"Serco contractors who drive
the fuel tankers on base also
worked non-stop to ensure we
maintained adequate fuel sup-
plies," he said.
CO Albatross CAPT Gordon
Andrew said he was pleased the
base could help.
"This was a great example of
Albatross working with and being
part of the community," CAPT
"Nothing is more important
than making sure people are safe
and property is protected."
Separately, two MRH-90s from
808SQN based at Nowra were pre-
positioned to RAAF Base Richmond
to provide support if requested by
Albatross helps out NSW firefighting efforts
TOP UP: Members of the NSW Rural Fire Service refuel their aircraft at HMAS
Photo: ABIS Sarah Williams
ESPS Cantabria was farewelled from
Fleet Base East on November 1 after com-
pleting a nine-month training deployment
CN VADM Ray Griggs and
COMAUSFLT RADM Tim Barrett were
among more than 400 people who fare-
welled Cantabria as she set sail on her
20,000km voyage to Spain.
The Spanish combat logistics support
ship received a rapturous send-off from
Spanish and Australian dignitaries, as well
as scores of sailors who had forged friend-
ships with the crew.
CN joined the Spanish Ambassador to
Australia, Enrique Viguera, RADM Barrett
and the Consul-General of Spain, Alvaro
Iranzo Gutierrez, in farewelling Cantabria.
CN said Cantabria's deployment was a
result of the excellent relationship between
the Spanish Armada and the RAN.
"I am constantly asked by other navy
chiefs how we made this special arrange-
ment work," he said.
"The reason is the great relationship
between the RAN and the Armada, which
has grown over the past decade since we
became customers of the Spanish ship-
building industry with the LHD and AWD.
"But that is not the only reason,
because I think there is a great alignment
with our two counties."
CN said Cantabria had done a great job
for the RAN and never missed a day at sea.
"Cantabria has served as part of the
Fleet since February and has participated
in a range of important exercises including
Exercise Talisman Saber, Exercise Triton
Centenary and the International Fleet
Review," he said.
VADM Griggs said having Cantabria
for nine months allowed the Fleet to con-
duct maintenance on its oil tankers and
still meet capability requirements.
"Cantabria conducted more than 58
replenishments and also assisted many
RAN warships during their mission
rehearsal exercises for Operation Slipper,"
"Cantabria also provided 234 Navy
personnel with the opportunity to familiar-
ise themselves with the systems that will
equip the new Canberra-class LHDs and
the Hobart-class destroyers."
In turn, the Spanish Armada was able to
test Cantabria's full range of capabilities,
including the operating maintenance cycle
of ship systems, and ship logistics and
CO Cantabria CMDR Jose Luis Nieto
said the deployment was the highlight of
his career and that all the crew had special
memories of their time working with the
"Cantabria will be an Aussie ship in
the Spanish Armada for a long time to
come," he said.
CMDR Nieto expressed his apprecia-
tion for the commendation for leadership
he received from RADM Barrett, and the
red kangaroo mementos presented to each
of his crew.
"Our people are the secret of our suc-
cess, because the crews' hard work is what
enabled Cantabria to achieve all its task-
ings," he said.
The emotional farewell the ship's com-
pany of Cantabria received speaks volumes
of the friendships that developed between
the Australians and the Spanish sailors.
LSET Alvaro Pazos, of Cantabria, said
the farewell was bittersweet.
"I am happy to be going home, because
I miss my family, but I will never forget
the friendships I made here with sailors in
the RAN," he said.
"It surprised me how similar we are and
how well we got on when he did our jobs
together or when we relaxed."
RAN training systems officer LEUT
Christopher Thornton said he would
not forget the friendships he made with
"It's just spectacular to work with
another navy and they have the same out-
look as us -- 'no worries' -- that basically
sums up their attitude I think," he said.
"My highlight was taking some of the
officers to watch Australia versus New
Zealand in the Bledisloe Cup, followed
by a dive cruise to the Great Barrier Reef
where we watched the jumping crocs in
the Adelaide river."
Cantabria will reach her home-port in
Ferrol in about 41 days.
Acquired to provide logistical support
for the Spanish fleet, Cantabria was com-
missioned in 2010 and is the second-larg-
est naval ship operated by the Spanish,
behind the LHD Juan Carlos 1.
RAN says adiós amigos
SO LONG: An ESPS
Cantabria sailor gives a
thumbs up (above) as the
rest of the crew embarks
in Fleet Base East in
preparation for Cantabria's
departure back to Spain.
Photos: ABIS Chantell Bianchi
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