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20th Anniversary of the HMAS Westralia Fire
09 May 2018
On the 5 May 2018, the HMAS Westralia (II) Fire 20th Year Anniversary Memorial Service was held on the Quarterdeck at HMAS Stirling in Western Australia. The Service was supported by the Royal Australian Navy Band Western Australia and was concluded with an unveiling of a restored lifeboat from the Westralia to remain as a permanent memorial displayed at HMAS Stirling. Invited guests at the service included; The Honourable Kim Beazley AC, Governor of Western Australia, Member for Canning, the Honourable Andrew Hastie, MP (Representing the Minister of Defence), Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Tim Barrett, AO, CSC, RAN, Premier of Western Australia, the Honourable Mark McGowan, BA, LLB, MLA, the Honourable Madeline King, MP, the families and former crew from HMAS Westralia. The Service was a time to reflect on the lives of the lost crew members which included speeches, prayers and the laying of wreaths, with HMAS Sirius supporting the service by providing a Cenotaph Guard and a formed platoon. On the 5 May 1998, a fire took place in HMAS Westralia’s Main machinery Space. The fire resulted in the death of four crew members; Midshipman Megan Pelly, Petty Officer Shaun Smith, Leading Seaman Bradley Meek, and Able Seaman Phillip Carroll. The 5 of May 2018 marks the 20th Anniversary of this tragic incident.
Exercise CASSOWARY 2018
23 Apr 2018
A joint operation between the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI) to improve security along our shared maritime borders concluded in Benoa, Bali on 24 April. Coordinated maritime patrol AUSINDO CORPAT 2018 began in Darwin, Australia on 16 April and covered waters between Australia and Indonesia over nine days. Exercise CASSOWARY, a seven day training activity, was conducted by both navies in the lead up to AUSINDORPAT 2018. From the ADF, Armidale-Class patrol boat HMAS Broome took part in Exercise CASSOWARY and AUSINDO CORPAT 2018. HMAS Maitland participated in Exercise CASSOWARY only. The TNI contibuted two naval vessels for both activities: KRI Kakap and Layang.
Remembering an Extraordinary Anzac
12 Apr 2018
On Thursday, 5 April 2018, Able Seaman Norman Cooper of Australia’s Federation Guard visited the Australian War Memorial to see medals and information on display that relate to the service of his relative, the late Lieutenant Colonel Henry ‘Harry’ William Murray, VC, CMG, DSO (and Bar), DCM (1880-1966). As a Private in the Australian Imperial Force (AIF), Henry Murray participated in the allied landing at Anzac Cove in Gallipoli on the 25 April 1915. During his service in Turkey, he was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal and commissioned as an officer in the 13th Battalion, AIF. He was then sent to France where he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) for his work at Mouquet Farm and the Victoria Cross for his actions at Stormy Trench in 1917. He then earned a second DSO in Bullecourt. During his time in the Western Front, Henry Murray was promoted through the ranks to Lieutenant Colonel, was awarded the French Croix de Guerre, was appointed Companion in the Order of St Michael and St George, and was described by War Correspondent Charles Bean as “the most distinguished fighting officer of the AIF.” Able Seaman Cooper will travel to Turkey in April 2018 as a member of the Australia’s Federation Guard, to participate in ceremonial duties at the Gallipoli Dawn Service. While mounted in the Catafalque Party, AB Cooper will reflect on the outstanding service of his relative, the late Lieutenant Colonel Henry Murray, and the service of all Australian Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen and women who have served in all wars.
Royal Australian Navy Aircrewman
12 Apr 2018
The Royal Australian Navy Fleet Air Arm is seeking internal applicants for one of the most exciting roles in the ADF. RAN Aircrewman are crucial in anti-submarine warfare, search and rescue and humanitarian disaster relief missions. Navy Aircrewman ensure mission success aboard the MRH 90 Taipan, MH-60R Seahawk Romeo and Bell 429 Global Ranger helicopter platforms. Aircrewman from the rank of Leading Seaman to Warrant Officer serve aboard RAN helicopter platforms in a rewarding role where no two days are the same.
Navy Clearance Diver support to Commonwealth Games
29 Mar 2018
Navy Clearance Divers are assisting the Queensland Police Service (QPS) with security in the lead-up to and during the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, 4-15 April. Around 30 Navy personnel including divers, logistics and support staff, communication specialists, sailors and a small command element will be located on the Gold Coast for the duration of the Games. The Clearance Diving team will be providing sub-surface searches of key locations on the Gold Coast to ensure the extensive waterway system is secure for athletes and members of the public. An Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team will be on call to respond should QPS identify any suspicious items below the waterline requiring clearance and disposal. The Navy component is just one aspect of Australian Defence Force (ADF) support to the Games, which includes more than 1000 personnel from all three services. Army engineers and Multi-Role Helicopter (MRH90) 'Taipan' aircraft, RAAF F/A-18 Hornets and support staff will also be supporting QPS as they provide security for the largest sporting event in Queensland's history. The ADF's support to the Games is part of the Whole of Australian Government contribution to security, which also includes Australian Border Force and Australian Federal Police.
Exercise Ocean Explorer wraps up
15 Mar 2018
Two submarines, 12 ships and embarked aircraft are taking part in one of the largest fleet concentration activities, Exercise OCEAN EXPLORER 2018. OCEAN EXPLORER will be carried out over a three week period off the east coast of Australia, including the Bass Straight, Jervis Bay, Maitland Bay and adjacent sea and air spaces. The exercise - designed to develop maritime warfare skills including the operation of sea control task groups - will feature anti-air and anti-submarine warfare, maritime strike and interdiction, maritime advance force operations and command and control.