Home' Navy News : November 7th 2013 Contents 3
November 7, 2013 www.defence.gov.au/news/NAVYNEWS
CDF GEN David Hurley formally
commended the efforts of more than
26,500 Defence personnel involved
with operations in the Middle East at
a recognition ceremony in Tarin Kot.
The event, on October 28,
marked the approaching end of
Australia's mission in Uruzgan
"Over the next 10 weeks the
ADF will complete its mission
in Uruzgan and the majority of
our people will begin to return to
Australia," GEN Hurley said.
He thanked all Australians
involved with operations in the
Middle East over the past decade.
"I am immensely proud of the
work our Defence personnel have
done to counter the insurgency, and
for what we have achieved for the
people of Afghanistan," GEN Hurley
said.During the ceremony, Prime
Minister Tony Abbott described the
ending of Australia's involvement as
a "bittersweet" moment.
"Sweet because hundreds of
soldiers will be home by Christmas;
bitter because not all Australian fam-
ilies have had their sons, fathers and
partners returned," he said. "Sweet
because our soldiers have given a
magnificent account of themselves;
bitter because Afghanistan remains a
dangerous place despite all that has
"Australia's longest war is end-
WO2 Andrew Hetherington
and CAPT Jay Ellul
A NEW $85 million facility to be used by
Navy's two new LHDs was officially opened at
the Port of Townsville on October 18.
Wharf 10 will allow for the efficient loading
of the LHDs and other Navy ships with both
Navy and Army personnel and their equipment.
CN VADM Ray Griggs attended the opening
and said the Port of Townsville and wharf 10
were now of strategic importance as a mounting
base for ADF amphibious operations.
"It will be a logistic node to sustain maritime
operations across Australia's northern and north-
eastern approaches," VADM Griggs said.
"To meet these requirements, the port must
have facilities capable of enabling sizeable forc-
es to be embarked and providing timely logistic
support to the RAN and allied warships."
VADM Griggs said he was impressed after
seeing the new wharf for the first time.
"Navy used the old facility in Townsville on
and off for about 25 years and it is great to now
see here a new, true multirole facility like this,"
"The opening of wharf 10 in Townsville is a
significant event in preparation for the introduc-
tion of the Canberra-class amphibious vessels
into the Navy."
He said the vessels would be a big step ahead
for Navy and the ADF.
"They represent a significant increase in
the ADF's ability to project power, from hard-
edged combat power to softer power projection,
through to humanitarian assistance and disaster
relief capabilities," VADM Griggs said.
For the Army Amphibious Readiness
Element (ARE), which will embark in the
LHDs, the new wharf will allow for more direct
CN VADM Griggs' update on the progress
of the LHD project.
"The hull of NUSHIP Canberra arrived
in Melbourne in October 2012 and the
out-fitting of the remaining superstruc-
ture, command and control, and bridge
management systems are nearly com-
plete, ahead of sea trials due to com-
mence toward the end of this year.
"Navy will commence the process of
accepting Canberra into service early
next year, culminating in initial operat-
ing capability in early 2015. The second
ship, Adelaide, is scheduled to arrive
in Australia from Spain in early 2014,
undertake final out-fitting and sea trials,
with the plan to be accepted by the
Commonwealth at the end of August
2015 and gain interim operational capa-
bility by the end of November 2016."
loading of personnel and equipment from shore
The current ARE mainly comprises of per-
sonnel from 2RAR.
CO 2RAR LTCOL Chris Smith said the
direct access from the wharf to the ship would
decrease the time it took to load the ships.
"Decreasing the load time will greatly
enhance the ARE reaction speed to a natural dis-
aster," LTCOL Smith said.
"This will allow the ARE to get a foot on the
ground to start providing life support to devastat-
ed areas sooner, and thereby greatly enhancing
our operational capabilities."
BIGGER AND BETTER: The new Townsville Wharf 10 ready for action (above) and (below)
CN VADM Ray Griggs unveils a plaque with Queensland Governor Penelope Wensley at the
Photos: CPL Matthew Bickerton
to Afghanistan John
LTGEN Mark Milley,
Afghan National Army
Abdul Hamid and CDF
GEN David Hurley lay
wreaths during the
at Multinational Base
Photo: CPL Mark Doran
ing, not with victory, not with defeat,
but with we hope an Afghanistan
that's better for our presence here."
Australians worked with Afghans
since 2005 to degrade the insur-
gency while training and mentoring
allowed the Afghan security forces
to develop their capability to accept
responsibility for Uruzgan's security,
according to the CDF.
"The Afghan people have shown
strong support for their own security
forces and growing confidence that
the Afghan National Security Forces
can confront and defeat the insur-
gents," he said.
The CDF said Defence and civil-
ian partners made a lasting contribu-
tion to enhance the quality of life in
"A succession of Australian
reconstruction teams have built or
redeveloped hospitals and medi-
cal centres, schools and more than
200km of roads and bridges to
enhance health and education and
to improve vital infrastructure," he
said.Efforts of the international com-
munity allowed the fielding of the
Afghan National Security Forces
and established institutional build-
ing blocks for the Afghan people to
determine their own future, accord-
ing to the CDF.
"This is the legacy of those mili-
tary personnel and civilians killed or
wounded in the conflict, including
more than 260 Australians who were
wounded, and the 40 Australian sol-
diers who were killed in action," he
said. "We will remember them."
CDF thanks his troops
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