HMAS Tobruk sails into Sydney Harbour for the last time ...€¦ · home port at Garden Island for...

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SERVING AUSTRALIA WITH PRIDE NEWS NAVY The official newspaper of the Royal Australian Navy Volume 58, No. 12, July 2, 2015 Page 3 BUILDING BRIDGES HMAS Anzac visits France and Spain HMAS Newcastle on patrol in MER Pages 4-5 $1 BILLION DRUG BUST Centre FINAL BERTH HMAS Tobruk sails into Sydney Harbour for the last time before decommissioning Page 2 HMAS Tobruk approaches Fleet Base East. Photo: LSIS Helen Frank

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Transcript of HMAS Tobruk sails into Sydney Harbour for the last time ...€¦ · home port at Garden Island for...


    NEWSNAVYThe official newspaper of the Royal Australian Navy

    Volume 58, No. 12, July 2, 2015

    Page 3BUILDING BRIDGESHMAS Anzac visits France and Spain

    HMAS Newcastle on patrol in MER

    Pages 4-5 $1 BILLION DRUG BUST



    HMAS Tobruk sails into Sydney Harbour for the last time before decommissioning

    Page 2

    HMAS Tobruk approaches Fleet Base East.

    Photo: LSIS Helen Frank

  • 2 NEWS July 2, 2015

    Director David Edlington: (02) 6265 4650

    Editor Sharon Palmer: (02) 6266 7612

    ReportersWO2 Andrew Hetherington: (02) 6266 7614 SGT Dave Morley: (02) 6266 7613 LSIS Jayson Tufrey: (02) 6266 7606 CPL Mark Doran: (02) 6265 1304 CPL Aaron Curran: (02) 6265 1355

    CONTACT USEmail: [email protected]

    Fax: (02) 6265 6690Mail: The Editor, R8-LG-038,

    PO Box 7909, Department of Defence, ACT 2600


    ADVERTISING and SUBSCRIPTIONS Marketing Manager Tim Asher: (07) 3332 7651 or 0459 842 551 Assistant Marketing Manager Trish Dillon: (02) 6266 7607

    Email: [email protected] [email protected]

    DISCLAIMERNavy News is published fortnightly by the Directorate of Defence News and Multimedia. It is printed under contract by Horton Media Australia Ltd. The material published is selected for its interest. The views expressed in published articles are not necessarily those of Defence or Navy News. Every advertisement is subject to Directorate of Defence News and Multimedia approval and the Directorate of Defence News and Multimedia may, at its discre-tion, refuse to accept an advertisement. The Directorate accepts no responsibility or liability in relation to any loss due to the failure of an advertisement to appear or if it appears in a form not in accordance with the instructions received by the Directorate of Defence News and Multimedia. Defence does not endorse the products or services pub-lished in advertisements.


    Claudia Harrison

    THE service of HMAS Tobruk and all who have served in her was recognised by the highest levels of government with mentions in Federal Parliament coinciding with her final voyage.

    Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten made specific state-ments to acknowledge the efforts of the amphibious work-horse, noting she lived up to her motto of ‘faithful and strong’.

    Tobruk sailed through Sydney Heads back to her home port at Garden Island for the last time on June 25.

    The amphibious heavy lift ship is scheduled to decommis-sion on July 31 after 35 years of service in the RAN.

    CO Tobruk CMDR Leif Maxfield said the final passage was an emotional time for the ship’s company of 167.

    “Today signifies that the end of the ship’s seagoing life is near,” CMDR Maxfield said.

    “The people who have served in Tobruk over the years

    have performed admirably, responding to the call of duty whenever tasked to do so.

    “There was a reflective mood on board as we crossed the threshold of Sydney Heads for the last time, realising the extent of what the ship has achieved in 35 years of service to her country.”

    Tobruk was commissioned on April 23, 1981, and is the second ship to bear the name.

    During her service life, the ship has supported a number of humanitarian aid and disaster relief missions including the most recent, Operation Pacific Assist, following Tropical Cyclone Pam which devastated Vanuatu earlier this year.

    “While we will farewell Tobruk, it is also an exciting time to be in the Navy.

    “We now look to the future with a bold new capability, having had our first of the two LHDs, HMAS Canberra, enter into service in December last year,” CMDR Maxfield said.

    NUSHIP Adelaide, the sec-ond LHD is scheduled for com-missioning later this year.

    Natalie Staples

    ALMOST 100 years since his great-great uncle entered the RAN College at HMAS Creswell, SBLT Nick Gurieff was one of 108 new naval officers grad-uating as part of New Entry Officers’ Course 52 on June 18.

    With Creswell marking 100 years since the first cadet midshipmen began training on site, SBLT Gurieff said he was proud to follow in his forbear’s footsteps.

    “My great-great uncle, MIDN John Abbott, commenced at the College in February 1917,” SBLT Gurieff said.

    “I am proud to see our family return to the college after all these years.”

    During the 20-week course, gradu-ates learnt a range of skills, which SBLT Gurieff said was intense but memorable.

    “We learnt a lot in a short period,” he said.

    “Training covered everything from Navy history and ethos to practical skills like weapons handling, survival at sea, ship damage repair and naval systems.”

    Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove reviewed New Entry Officers’ Course 52’s passing out parade, which was also attended by CN VADM Tim Barrett.

    Fifteen helicopters from the Fleet Air Arm based at HMAS Albatross conduct-ed a flypast during the parade, welcom-ing the graduates into the Navy.

    In his address to family and friends CO Creswell CAPT Stephen Hussey reminded the graduating officers that they followed in proud footsteps.

    “Since its inception, the RAN College has produced naval officers that have led in war and in peace time,

    defending and protecting Australia and its people,” CAPT Hussey said.

    “Many graduates have earned inter-national reputations for outstanding professionalism and leadership, a tradi-tion that continues today in operations protecting Australia’s borders, in provid-ing security and stability to other nations in our region and as part of Australia’s wider global commitments.”

    Much has changed at the college over the past century. “Probably the most striking difference those cadet-midship-men would notice is the trainee officers themselves,” CAPT Hussey said.

    “The course no longer consists of 13-15-year-old boys, but instead New Entry Officers’ Course 52 is now mixed gender with its youngest member being nearly 18 with ages ranging up to 44 in this instance.”

    Home for final time

    Following in family footsteps

    The ship’s company of HMAS Canberra applaud as HMAS Tobruk sails past to arrive in her home port at Fleet Base East, Sydney, for the last time before decommissioning. Photo: LSIS Helen Frank

    SMNCIS Mariah Hayes prepares HMAS Tobruk’s decommissioning pennant as the ship prepares to sail into Sydney Harbour. Photo: ABIS Kayla Hayes

    Graduating officers of the New Entry

    Officers’ Course 52 on parade during

    the graduation ceremony held at HMAS Creswell.

    Photo: ABIS Sarah Williams

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    3NEWSJuly 2, 2015

    A FULL tax exemption now applies to military personnel serving on non-warlike Operations Manitou, Accordion, Okra (Zone B) and Augury in the Middle East region.

    Following the government’s approval earlier this year, ADF members serving in these locations have been formally granted a full tax exemption under section 23AD of the Income Tax Assessment Act.

    Previously, the full tax exemption only applied to those serving on Operation Highroad in Afghanistan and Operation Okra in Iraq.

    Importantly, the tax exemption will be back-dated to the start of each operation and will help to standardise tax treatment for all ADF personnel deployed in the Middle East region.

    The tax exemption will also apply to person-nel who previously served on Operations Manitou, Accordion, Okra (Zone B) or Augury, but have since ceased serving on those operations.

    About 5500 ADF members will be affected by these changes, which will begin to be applied from July 2. There is no change to the existing tax exemption status for ADF personnel serving on Operations Aslan, Mazurka, Palate II or Paladin.

    Tax exemption for non-warlike ops

    A full tax exemption now applies to personnel serving on Operation Manitou. Photo: LSIS Brenton Freind

    SBLT Myf Austin-Eames

    ON A GREY Sydney winter morning, United States Navy Ships Antietam and Mustin pulled into Garden Island for a five-day port visit before joining Exercise Talisman Sabre (TS).

    CO Antietam CAPT Michael McCartney said his ship’s company had been looking forward to arriving in the harbour city since departing Yokusuka, Japan.

    “We have been at sea for about 45 days and for about 44 of those we have been anticipating arriving in Sydney. It’s a fabulous port,” he said.

    While in town, personnel from the US 7th Fleet cruiser and destroyer shared knowledge with their Australian colleagues.

    “We took part in a warfighter exchange to talk tactics. We do this on a regular basis,” CAPT McCartney said.

    “Every couple of years a ship’s crew completely rotates, so it’s impor-tant each generation of sailor and officer reconnects with Australian counterparts.

    “After Sydney, we leave for TS which will provide an opportunity for our countries, as well as the Army and Air Force and interagency groups to come together and work to make our lines of communication and interoper-ability as good as they can be.

    “Australia and America have a rela-tionship that is unique in this region of the world. It provides a tremendous amount of stability.”

    Antietam, a Ticonderoga-class

    cruiser with a crew of 370, is the air-defence commander of the 7th Fleet Strike Group.

    “We are responsible for the safety of our aircraft and aircraft that approach our strike group as we manoeuvre internationally.

    “We carry air-defence missiles, as well as guns and, most importantly, our radar allows us to see fairly far out,” CAPT McCartney said.

    “Communications engineers ensure that all that works together and that we see the same situation so we can make good decisions.”

    Antietam and Mustin are not the only ships from the United States Navy visiting Australian ports. USS George Washington visited Brisbane at the same time.

    US ships talk tactics

    By LSIS Jayson Tufrey

    EXERCISE Talisman Sabre (TS), the largest combined biennial military exercise undertaken by the ADF, will put about 18,000 Army, Navy and Air Force personnel to the test.

    TS, starting on July 5 and finish-ing on July 21, is aimed at improving combat training, readiness and interop-erability by exposing participants to a wide spectrum of military capabilities and training experiences.

    The series of amphibious exercises is the principal Australian and US mil-itary training activity and is focused on planning and conducting mid-intensity, high-end warfighting.

    This year is the exercise’s sixth iteration and will involve 30,000 Australian and US participants.

    It will include military operations at sea, in the air and on land.

    The exercise will take place simul-taneously within the Shoalwater Bay Training Area in Queensland and Fog Bay/Bradshaw Field Training Area in the Northern Territory.

    TS will incorporate force prepa-ration and special forces activities; amphibious landings, parachuting and land force manoeuvres; urban, air and maritime operations; and the coordi-nated firing of live ammunition and explosive ordnance from small arms, artillery, naval vessels and aircraft.

    The exercise provides an opportu-nity for personnel from both countries to train together and enhance their combined and joint warfighting skills.

    A small number of personnel from the Japan Self Defense Force will embed with US units and the New Zealand Defence Force will exercise as part of the Australian contingent.

    The scale and intensity of TS15 will be similar to previous activities in the series.

    This year’s focus, particularly for air and maritime operations, will be in the North Australian Range Complex, Timor and Arafura seas.

    Land activities will continue to be carried out in training areas in the East Australian Range Complex.

    TS15 has all hands on deck

    Sailors from USS Antietam take photos of local bird life resting on their lines while the ship visited Sydney.Inset: Antietam is helped into position by tugs in Sydney Harbour. Photos: ABIS Tom Gibson

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    6 NEWS July 2, 2015

    LCDR Robert Roscoe

    WHILE in Sattahip, Thailand, for a port visit, HMAS Perth welcomed on board three top local chefs from the Marriott Resort & Spa Hotel in Pattaya for a Master Chef class in Thai cuisine.

    The initiative was organised by president of the local branch of the Navy League of Siam, Peter Thorand.

    The chefs, including Thai cuisine chef Phanita Salapirom, the Marriott’s award-winning executive chef Pongpisit Ungsuchaikij and the resort’s chef de partie Boonma Intaraksa were greeted on board by CPOML-C Jeff Calderbank.

    The visiting chefs brought some of their own fresh local produce and after a tour of the ship and the galley facilities, soon got to grips with preparing a traditional Thai lunch for the entire ship’s company.

    “It was a terrific opportunity for my team to see how top restaurant chefs prepare a service and what better place to gain some tips in the use of Asian produce and spices than in Thailand,” CPO Calderbank said.

    “Perth’s chefs were excited at the prospect of getting some top-inside-tips into preparing authentic Thai cuisine.”

    The specially prepared meals consisted of Thai green curry, seafood tom yum goong, and spicy pork with fresh and dried chilli.

    The Marriott chefs then served their Asian delights in the traditional Navy way ‘from the line’ which was well received by the ship’s company, with many ‘going around the buoy’ for seconds.

    ABET Rangi Guyton, a self-proclaimed expert in Asian cuisine, was full of praise.

    “While the chefs on board serve great curries, the balance of hot, sweet, salty and sour flavours of the Thai dishes was just absolutely perfect.”

    On completion, CPOML-C Calderbank was presented with a Marriott certificate for participating in the training ses-sion. He, in turn, presented the Marriott team with a framed picture of HMAS Perth.

    Perth will shortly participate in Exercise Talisman Sabre and conduct a security patrol of the North West Shelf, before returning to Fleet Base West at the end of July.

    Thai chefs stir up menu

    ABCIS Georgina Brooks is served dinner by Executive Sous Chef Pongpisit Ungsuchaikij during a Thai cooking class on board HMAS Perth during their visit to the port of Sattahip in Thailand. Inset. ABMLO-C Sean Price receives instruction from the guest chefs in Perth’s galley. Main photo: ABET Adam Jaynes

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    7NEWSJuly 2, 2015

    Op Slipper parade pin still available

    CDF ACM Mark Binskin holds the Operation Slipper commemorative pin at Russell Offices in Canberra. The pins are now available for collection at clothing stores across the country. Photo: Lauren Larking

    CDF ACM Mark Binskin wants all members who deployed to areas of operation under Operation Slipper to make sure they have one of the com-memorative pins especially created to mark the end of Australia’s longest wartime operation.

    More than 18,000 members who deployed on Slipper received their commemorative pin at the marches in March, but a number missed out.

    These members can now collect their pins from their local clothing store, providing they have evidence of their deployment record (a PMKeyS print out or screen shot) and Defence ID.

    The commemorative pin is part of a special Slipper range of goods endorsed by CDF to mark the end of the opera-tion and to support the commemorative marches for all who deployed.

    The pin is available free to eligible members – those who deployed to areas of operation – thanks to the support of Thales Australia, SAAB Technologies, Nova Systems and the Military Shop.

    According to the Military Shop’s Stephen Davie, who coordinated the commemorative collection, the contri-bution by industry was on behalf of all

    Australians as a way of saying thank you to all who deployed.

    “It is a rare opportunity to be able to show a nation’s gratitude and respect to those who have stood on the front line in Defence of our country’s interests,” he said.

    “We and our industry partners are humbled and proud to be a part of this and know that all Australians share our respect for the dedication, sacrifices and service of all members of the ADF.

    “I want to also acknowledge Daronmont Technologies, the Australian Defence Credit Union and Sikorsky Helitech for supporting the family pin, which was created to thank the families of those who deployed.”

    A small number of remaining family pins will be available through the same channels as the service pin.

    Sales from the Slipper collection, including sponsorship by industry, is generating funds to support Soldier On, Legacy, Keeping Watch, Army Relief Trust and the RAAF Welfare Trust.

    Remaining stock can be viewed at

    Andrew Bujdegan

    THE Submarine Force (SUBFOR) provided an inspiring welcome home for the crew of HMAS Rankin after her successful South East Asian deployment.

    Officers and sailors of SUBFOR, along with family and friends of the crew of Rankin enjoyed the stir-ring sound of the pipes and drums of The Rockingham City Pipe Band as Rankin came alongside at Diamantina Wharf, HMAS Stirling, Rockingham, Western Australia.

    Under the command of CMDR Doug Theobald, Rankin participated in Exercise Bersama Shield and conducted underway training and international engagement activities.

    The boat conducted two port visits to Singapore, providing opportunities to engage with other Bersama Shield participants and for some rest and recreation for the 60 crew members.

    The visits to Singapore also provided an opportunity to rotate trainees, giving our future subma-riners an opportunity to complete at-sea tasks.

    Rankin deployed together with HMAS Perth, RAAF P3 Orion and a KA350 King Air aircraft for the 10-day exercise in the South China Sea.

    CDRE Lee Goddard, represent-ing COMAUSFLT and COMSUB CAPT Matt Buckley welcomed the crew and commented on the impres-

    sive turnout by families; reinforcing the support the family unit provided personnel.

    “It’s been a busy deployment for the crew of Rankin who have executed everything asked of them to a very high standard,” CAPT Buckley said.

    “The deployment of Rankin has also demonstrated the effectiveness of our support elements which will be kept busy this year with three more deployments from Fleet Base West still to occur.

    “For now it’s a short mainte-nance period for Rankin and the crew will no doubt enjoy some well earned time at home before prepar-ing for their next deployment later in the year.”

    Rankin return a roaring hit

    Members of HMAS Rankin handle lines as the boat comes

    alongside her home port of Fleet Base West (above) and

    POMT Mark Lindo is welcomed home

    by his children (left) after his South East

    Asian deployment.Photos: LSIS Lee-Anne Mack

    Changes to military superTHE bills for the new military superannuation scheme were introduced into parliament on June 25.

    The new superannuation arrangements provide more flexible and portable superannuation for Australia’s servicemen and women that recognise the unique nature of military service.

    The bills include ADF Super and the associated death and invalidity scheme, ADF Cover.

    The legislation proposes that ADF Super will have an employer contribution rate of 16.4 per cent.

    From July 1, 2016, ADF mem-bers will be able to transfer their accumulated ADF Super benefits to a fund of their choice at any time, including if they leave the ADF.

    ADF Super will be the default superannuation fund for all new per-manent ADF members and members of the reserve on continuous full-time service from July 1, 2016.

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    CMDR Fenn Kemp

    WHEN 90-year-old Bryan Wearne last visited Balikpapan beach, he was under enemy fire during one of the most ambitious Australian amphibious operations of the WWII.

    Seventy years later, Bryan and fel-low RAN veteran Pat Curtis returned to Borneo to relive past adventures and to honour lost mates.

    Operation Oboe was the code name given to a series of amphibious land-ings to recapture Borneo (part of mod-ern Indonesia) in 1945.

    Some 75,000 Australians par-ticipated in the Borneo campaign and more than 590 lost their lives in the final Australian campaign of the war.

    Mr Wearne and Mr Curtis were among eight Oboe veterans to travel to Borneo with the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, Defence staff from Australia’s Indonesian Embassy and Australia’s Federation Guard for the 70th anniversary commemorations over the weekend of June 6-7.

    On July 1, 1945, Mr Wearne was at the helm of his M10 landing craft which had just left HMAS Manoora packed with soldiers.

    Then 20, Mr Wearne had already taken part in the two other Oboe land-ings at Tarakan and Labuan so he knew to look out for the unexpected.

    In a recent landing he had conduct-ed, some of his terrified passengers had even refused to disembark at the beach. But this time, as he watched the

    8 NEWS July 2, 2015

    soldiers he was transporting preparing for battle, something was different.

    “These were Australian soldiers,” Mr Wearne recalled.

    “I hadn’t taken them ashore before. They were actually joking and carry-ing on.”

    Forming into a ‘V’, the landing craft approached the line of departure off-shore and came under heavy bom-

    bardment from Japanese light artillery. The tension grew quickly when

    they were forced to remain in place awaiting orders.

    This gave the Japanese time to home in on their attackers.

    Finally, the order came and the boats sailed on, miraculously coming through the barrage unscathed. Mr Wearne didn’t let the danger get to him.

    “My objective was to put soldiers on the beach and get the hell out of there and back to the ship to find out what else they wanted me to do,” he said.

    Fellow 90-year-old Mr Curtis was in HMAS Westralia during the Oboe landings.

    His ship had transported some of the soldiers involved.

    Also a veteran of previous landings

    at Leyte Gulf, Mr Curtis was a teleg-raphist during the campaign and was mentioned in despatches for ‘gallantry and outstanding courage’.

    During the Leyte Gulf landing, a Japanese dive bomber had struck the ship, killing 90 of Mr Curtis’ shipmates.

    The trip to Borneo had special sig-nificance for him but he admitted it was only recently he had talked about Borneo and other campaigns with his family.

    “When I told them I was coming on this trip, my son said, you’ve never been to Borneo,” Mr Curtis said.

    “It’s an honour to be here though and a privilege to be able to represent my country.”

    The landing site at Balikpapan is now dotted with restaurants, coffee shops and carparks.

    Mr Wearne recounted his expe-riences to ABCSOMW Alyse MacPherson who was one of several RAN members who accompanied the DVA contingent as part of Australia’s Federation Guard.

    AB MacPherson said she and her fellow AFG members were fascinated by the stories these old sailors had to tell.

    “Mr Wearne remembers the landing in incredible detail,’ AB MacPherson said.

    “Listening to his stories was such a privilege. It was great to share this experience with him.”

    Veterans return to BorneoRAN members share an historic moment with WWII veterans Bryan Wearne and Pat Curtis at Balikpapan Beach in Borneo, to mark the 70th anniversary of the Borneo landings. Left to right: AB Robert Lewis, Mr Wearne, LS Stuart Malcolm, AB Emma Burr, Mr Curtis, LCDR Natalie Boulton and ABCSOMW Alyse MacPherson. Photo: CMDR Fenn Kemp







    9NEWSJuly 2, 2015

    The return of Melbourne

    HMAS Melbourne prepares to berth in Port Melbourne as (inset) LEUT Liam Catterson navigates on the bridge.Photos: ABIS Bonny Gassner

    FOLLOWING a 10-week mainte-nance package, HMAS Melbourne is back in action, preparing for mission readiness and an Operation Manitou deployment.

    For 10 days in June, Melbourne conducted an intensive self training package to refine mariner and warfighting skills.

    Midway through the training package the crew took a break in Melbourne.

    ABML-C Kristie Bryden said it was a great opportunity for the ship’s company to reacquaint themselves with family and friends.

    “My whole family was really excited we were coming to Melbourne, especially Mum,” AB Bryden said.

    “I was so excited to be home and to show off where I work.”

    During the maintenance period, Melbourne had a number of upgrades to improve her capa-bility for the forthcoming deploy-ment.

    More than 500 tasks were completed by contractors Thales, BAE and Navy’s Fleet Support Unit.

    As a result, Melbourne was able to leave the dock nearly a week earlier than scheduled.

    CO CMDR Bill Waters said it was a great achievement for the FFG sustainability contract and the collaborative efforts of all involved.

    “It’s been a hectic period where significant engineering work has occurred in Melbourne and a massive amount of training

    achieved by our people,” CMDR Waters said.

    “The fact we sailed ahead of schedule is of great credit to those involved.”

    While Melbourne was in main-tenance, the ship’s company was heavily engaged in pre-deploy-ment planning, training and logis-tics preparations.

    Personnel were qualified in boarding and weapons, action medical, refined maritime war fighting skills in simulators, and completed professional advance-ment courses.

    Concurrent to this, Melbourne’s aviation element (Flight 1) was detached to

    HMAS Albatross performing a major engineering service on Melbourne’s Seahawk helicopter ‘Reaper’.

    The ship and her crew is now conducting mission readiness work-ups south of Sydney. These work ups include training evalu-ations by Sea Training Group across the spectrum of mariner skills, ship safety, departmental operations, warfare, damage con-trol and flying.

    Melbourne is operating in company with other HMA Ships including Stuart and Darwin in and around Fleet Base East and the Eastern Australian Exercise Area.

    CPOB Nikolai Rofe leads HMAS Melbourne’s force

    protection exercise in preparation for mission

    readiness work-ups.

  • 10 NEWS July 2, 2015

    Cook left future in his wakeLEUT Alexandra Abley

    “This day prov’d as favourable to our purpose as we could wish, not a cloud was to be seen the whole day and the air was perfectly clear.”

    This quote from Captain James Cook’s journal rings as true today as it did on June 6, 1770, when His Majesty’s Bark Endeavour was conducting survey operations in the waters where HMAS Melville was operating exactly 245 years later.

    Melville, with Red crew embarked, conducted military data-gathering opera-tions to the north of Magnetic Island in the approaches to Townsville.

    The bathymetric and environmental surveys aimed to improve the quality and accuracy of charting in the area.

    This is particularly important given the increased use of the area by the deep-draught Canberra-class LHDs and HMAS Choules in support of amphib-ious-ready element/group training and operations.

    The survey was also an opportunity to reconstitute the survey capability of

    the Leeuwin-class hydrographic ship crews, who have spent long periods with Operation Resolute in recent times.

    Evidence suggests the Aboriginal inhabitants of the area surveyed were also seagoing people, regularly ply-ing the waters between modern-day Townsville and its off-lying islands, including Magnetic and Great Palm.

    SMNBM Sara Bell said it was a fas-cinating place to have worked.

    “It is interesting to think that peo-ple have been in those very waters for thousands of years, and we were here surveying as Captain Cook did all those years ago,” she said.

    CO Melville LCDR Adam Muckalt said while the equipment today was significantly different to that of the Endeavour in 1770, the methods and purpose were largely the same.

    “The exploratory voyages of our forebears paved the way for European settlement of Australia, and the work Melville is doing is paving the way for the future of Navy and ADF capability,” he said.

    HMAS Melville sails past Magnetic Island

    while operating in the same waters as

    Captain James Cook did 245 years ago (above) as LEUT

    Thomas Rue and SMN Alyce Houley study

    charts on board (inset).Left: HMAS Melville

    launches a survey motor boat.

    Photos: LCDR Adam Muckalt

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    11NEWSJuly 2, 2015

    EACH and every night about 100,000 Australians sleep on the streets.

    On the eastern seaboard winter is a particularly hard time for the home-less with temperatures dropping well below zero degrees in some areas.

    To help raise awareness of the plight of thousands of Australians who suffer cold nights in the open, ADF commanders around the coun-try joined thousands of Australians on June 18 in the St Vincent De Paul Society CEO Sleepout.

    Senior ADF personnel slept out with local CEOs and 80 mid-shipmen and cadets at ADFA in Canberra on a cold, wet night.

    MIDN Maggie Twyford who organises a number of charitable events for ADFA midshipmen and officer cadets, joined in the activity.

    “The sleepout was an eye-opening experience for me,” MIDN Twyford said.

    “It gave me the opportunity to experience what a homeless

    Australian would on a cold Canberra night.”

    More than $320,000 was raised before the sleepout which is on track for the projected $500,000 target.

    Meanwhile, in Tasmania where the night was even colder, dropping to just one degree, CO NHQ-Tas CMDR Stacey Porter slept rough with 47 Tasmanian CEOs at Aurora Stadium in Launceston.

    Like many homeless people, CEOs had only a cardboard box, a sleeping bag and the clothes they had on their backs to keep them warm.

    CMDR Porter is a veteran of the sleepout having done it twice before in the cold Tasmanian climate.

    “It is never a solid sleep and it’s a harsh look at what homeless Tasmanians endure every night,” she said.

    “Unlike most of the mainland, excluding Canberra, Tasmanian homeless people suffer extreme cold weather for the majority of the

    year. Funds raised through local efforts go toward immediate and emergency assistance, as well as providing meals and nights in a bed.

    “The Vinnies CEO Sleepout is a way we can raise awareness and support the great work of the St Vincent de Paul Society on behalf of homeless Australians,” CMDR Porter said.

    As the event marks its 10th year, organisers aim to raise $10 million, letting the public know the figure is not just a number, but a goal to provide crucial assistance while also taking action to break the cycle of homelessness for as many people as possible.

    Making their own positive contribution, Tasmanian CEOs raised more than $130,000 which will go to assist 2,500 homeless Tasmanians.

    Donations can be made up until August 31 at

    LEUT Andrew Ragless

    COMMANDER Northern Command CDRE Brenton Smyth was subjected to a hard night on the streets of Darwin when he slept rough as part of the 2015 Vinnies CEO Sleepout.

    While temperatures dropped to a balmy 21 degrees in the northern capi-tal, CDRE Smyth admitted the experience paled in comparison to what other home-less Australians endured on a regular basis.

    “One in 17 people in the Northern Territory are homeless and Darwin has the highest rate of homelessness compared to any other capital city in Australia.”

    CDRE Smyth said that sadly, some of those affected by homelessness were for-mer ADF personnel.

    “There are veterans and ex-service per-sonnel who have sacrificed a lot during their time in the services.

    “Unfortunately some fall on hard times when they leave and no longer have access to the support the services provide.

    “I’m not sure how many ex-servicemen and women might be homeless, but from

    my perspective even one is too many.”The event in Darwin featured four

    guest speakers including Cameron Hunter, a former sapper in the New Zealand Defence Force who found himself in France, on the street, cold, wet, and alone, with nothing but 10 pounds in his pocket.

    “I was promoted to lance corporal at the age of 19,” Cameron said.

    “Everything was going well, but then I had a disastrous relationship and got a bit frustrated with things.

    “I spent one and a half years in the French Foreign Legion, and then took a job waiting tables.

    “They pulled the fast one on some of the wages, and I walked out the door. I started drinking,” he said.

    “The reason I ended up on the streets is a number of things happened.

    “You do one thing and you get hit from that angle, you do something else and you get hit from another angle.

    “My bad luck was almost uncanny, but it was also showing me something, that I was vulnerable,” he said.

    The CEO Sleepout evolved from a local community venture in Parramatta in Sydney 10 years ago to address the overwhelming problem of homelessness.

    Since then, it has gained the attention of all Australians, with St Vincent de Paul and CEOs teaming up nationwide in cities and regional locales to sacrifice their creature comforts for a night on the streets in order to raise funds to assist the cause.

    The St Vincent de Paul Society supports people experiencing homeless-ness through a range of services including crisis accommodation, domestic violence support, access to budget counselling, life-skills courses and legal advice, as well as assisting in planning for change and their return to independent living.


    Cold, harsh reality check

    Above: L-R, Sleepout organiser OCDT Zac Hucker, MAJGEN Richard Burr, OCDT Scarlett Hay, MAJGEN Simone Wilkie, and MIDN Maggie Twyford get set for the night during the CEO Sleepout held at ADFA on June 18. Photo: John Carroll

    Left: CMDR Stacey Porter next to her cardboard box during the Tasmanian CEO Sleepout at Aurora Stadium in Launceston, Tasmania.

    Warmer climes, same issues

    CDRE Brenton Smyth looks for shelter in the East Point WWII fortifications in Darwin as part of the 2015 Vinnies CEO Sleepout.Photo: LSIS James Whittle

  • July 2, 2015 1312 CENTRE

    LEUT Dylan Pearse

    AS THE sun rose over the Mozambique Channel on May 18, HMAS Newcastle steamed towards a rendezvous with French Ship Var to conduct replenishments at sea.

    This was not the first meeting of these two vessels but it was to be the most complex evolution con-ducted so far.

    The day’s evolution involved concurrent replenishment of fuel while food stores were embarked via a vertical replenishment (VERTREP) with Newcastle’s

    Seahawk helicopter, call sign ‘Fat Cat’.

    Navigating Officer LEUT Thomas Ford said the crews of both vessels were well prepared for the task.

    “The synergy demonstrated between Newcastle and Var is no accident”, he said.

    “Both ships have recently con-ducted combined ship handling, search and rescue, replenishment and VERTREP training exercises in the vicinity of the Seychelles.”

    During the replenishment both ships’ companies linked fuelling equipment for the transfer of die-sel and aviation fuel, while Fat Cat

    transferred vital cargo to replenish Newcastle’s ration holdings.

    Deputy Maritime Logistics Officer LEUT Samantha Walker said the replenishments were time-ly.

    “The crew were starting to crave both fresh fruit and Nutella,” LEUT Walker said.

    “Newcastle’s rations are now restored back to maximum capacity.”

    In total 29 pallets of fresh, fro-zen, and refrigerated goods were transferred from Var’s flight deck to Newcastle.

    Flight Commander LCDR Chris Mitchell said the experienced coor-

    dination between the two ships was apparent, with the majority of loads transferred while the ships were linked together in their RAS positions.

    “Recent VERTREP transfer and helicopter control operations have enhanced the working relationship between the two nations and pro-vided a solid training platform for the safe and successful conduct of today’s concurrent evolutions.”

    After the replenishment, Newcastle was able to continue with the first narcotics interdiction patrol of a six-month deployment to the Middle East region.

    Experienced hands

    MARITIME securi-ty operations by Australian and New Zealand frigates oper-ating in the Middle East region over the past two months have seized more than a 1.3 tonnes of narcotics worth an estimat-ed street value of more than $1 billion.

    HMAS Newcastle netted 724kg of narcotics worth an estimated $597 million in one seizure. During the same operation, New Zealand ship HMNZS Te Kaha seized 257kg of narcotics worth an estimat-ed $214 million.

    Patrolling as part of the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), Combined Task Force 150, CO Newcastle CMDR Dominic MacNamara said nar-cotics seizures by his crew denied a key source of fund-ing to terrorist organisations.

    “These interdictions demon-strate the RAN and CMF are

    serious about removing these streams of revenue from terror-ists,” CMDR MacNamara said.

    “Newcastle’s crew is focused on the mission and is doing Australia proud in the eyes of the international com-munity.

    “Our success is not only due to the tenacity and hard work of Newcastle’s crew – we are just the tip of CMF’s spear.

    “There are 30 nations work-ing together to achieve these results and our success is testament to the combined professionalism of all these forces.”

    Newcastle seized a further 581kg of illegal narcotics over the weekend of June 20-21, with an estimated street value of approximately $520 million.

    Commander Australian forces in the Middle East RADM Trevor Jones said the ship’s company was doing the job it was asked to do.

    “These drug interdictions

    are a credit to the training, hard work and dedication of HMAS Newcastle and her crew who have brought together all these aspects and turned them into tangible results that strike at the heart of terrorist funding networks.”

    CMF Deputy Commander CMDR Will Warrender, Royal Navy, said the successful drug seizures used many aspects of CMF multinational operations and international organisations to identify, track and board trafficking ships and dhows across thousands of miles of open sea.

    Newcastle has been work-ing closely with other CMF ships including Royal Navy frigate HMS Richmond and French Navy command and replenishment ship FNS Var.

    The combined counter-ter-rorism and counter-narcotic maritime operation was con-ducted from April 29 to June 15.

    HMAS Newcastle has a successful start to her six-month deployment to the Middle East region.

    FLYING STARTHMAS Newcastle’s sea boats approach a dhow

    for verification as part of operations involving

    narcotics interdiction off the east coast of Africa.

    Photo: LEUT Andrew Colebourn

    HMAS Newcastle, left, passes the distance line to French Ship Var as they conduct replenishments at sea. Photo: LSIS Brenton Freind

    Members of HMAS Newcastle’s ship’s company destroy narcotics on the flight deck in the Indian Ocean. Photo: LSIS Brenton Freind

    Members of HMAS Newcastle’s boarding party

    search a dhow suspected of carrying narcotics.

    Photo: LSIS Brenton Freind

    ABCSO Miranda Walker helps transfer seized narcotics to HMAS Newcastle’s flight deck. Photo: LSIS Brenton Freind

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    “I found the training highly educational. It highlighted mistakes I had made previously and methods to prevent such mistakes from occurring again.” - Nick, Perth

    MEMBERS of the Naval Historical Society hosted a familiarisation tour of Garden Island’s ‘herit-

    age secrets’ for CO HMAS Kuttabul CMDR Rebecca Jeffcoat and her team.

    Led by David Stockman, a Thales guide who has spent 45 years at Garden Island, the command teams first stop was inside a labyrinth of underground tunnels.

    Cut into the rock and running for hundreds of metres beneath the north-ern hill, the tunnels were built as air raid shelters after the Japanese subma-rine attack on Sydney in 1942.

    Although never needed during the war, the remnants of a planned telephone exchange, the casualty clear-ance station, the emergency generator room and the ablution blocks remain.

    CMDR Jeffcoat said she was fasci-nated by the history of Garden Island and enjoyed the opportunity to share it with her command team.

    “Garden Island is the oldest naval base in Australia dating back to the first days of the colony,” she said.

    “Its history is very much the story of Sydney’s growth and change over the past two centuries which has been hand in hand with Navy’s.”

    Moving from the tunnels, remnants of an earlier era can be found above ground, from the carefully restored houses, the oldest dating back to 1885, the abandoned signal station, a herit-

    CO HMAS Kuttabul takes a behind-the-scenes look around her workplace, LEUT Debra Holland reports.

    Garden Island tour guides Leyland Wilkinson, left, and David Stockman explain the history of the base to HMAS Kuttabul’s Command team doing a recent tour of the island (left) and (right) a naval officer stands next to the ceremonial drum idol believed to date back to 1910. Photo: ABIS Tom Gibson

    age rose garden, the fuel store and the 1796 gun emplacements.

    Two more volunteers, Norman Rivett and Leyland Wilkinson then took over tour guide duties for the command team.

    For Mr Rivett, 90, the history of Kuttabul and Garden Island aligns very much to the story of his own life.

    A former English merchant navy engineer, he began his career on the dockyards as a fitter in 1954 and now 60 years later, he still attends for his volunteer work with the Naval

    Historical Society twice a week.Mr Rivett is just one of several

    dedicated volunteers, all of whom have personal or family links to Defence and the dockyards, ensuring this valu-able part of Australia’s heritage is kept for future visitors to enjoy.

    The tour continued on to a ceremo-nial drum idol set deep in the earth. The carved tree stump is believed to have been brought back to Garden Island from the New Hebrides (Vanuatu) in 1910.

    Mr Wilkinson, formerly

    Superintendent of the Apprentices Training School for the Naval Dockyards, produced a 1922 photo of Surgeon Lieutenant William Paradice RAN standing next to the idol which towers above him. Time and the ele-ments have worn down the stump so it barely reaches the shoulders of those present today.

    Just below the 19th century tennis courts on the western side of the hill is one of the island’s most unusual treasures; three sets of initials, each with the year 1788, carved into the

    sandstone rocks. The signatures belong to Frederick Meredith, a seaman and baker, Royal Marine Private Joseph Radford and First Lieutenant William Bradley, sent from HMS Sirius to sur-vey the island.

    Garden Island was initially used by the First Fleet settlers as a place to grow crops as it was removed from the main settlement and food was less likely to be stolen by the populace.

    The soil was more fertile than the land around the Rocks, resulting in Garden Island’s name and a place in Australia’s early history.

    “But just as importantly, Garden Island’s history belongs to the hun-dreds of thousands of men and women who have departed here in warships for service overseas, or worked in the shipyards, or even called it home,” CMDR Jeffcoat said

    “We recognise that as custodians of this heritage, Navy has a responsibility to ensure its long term conservation and I am pleased we are able to have areas of the island opened up for the public to enjoy,” she said.

    Access to the RAN Heritage Centre and the northern section of the island is via the Garden Island ferry wharf.

    For more information on the Naval Historical Society of Australia’s guided tours see

    Discovering hidden gems14 HISTORY July 2, 2015

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    16 GANGWAY July 2, 2015

    Above: V8 Supercar drivers Mark Winterbottom, left, and honorary LEUT Chaz Mostert, right, with LSMT Sarah Battenally, XO HMAS Coonawarra LCDR Michael Doncaster and LSMT Kate Greenwood during a visit to HMAS Coonawarra at Fremantle Wharf.Right: LEUT Bianca Prain and CDRE Michael Rothwell at the opening of the RAN Medical School Simulation Centre at HMAS Penguin.Photos: LSIS James Whittle, ABIS Kayla Hayes

    ABMT Jack Peto checks HMAS Newcastle’s electrical plant control console while the ship is on patrol in the Indian Ocean as part of Operation Manitou.

    Photo: LSIS Brenton Freind


    All Court Martial and Defence Force Magistrate trial results are subject to command review and appeal. The results are of

    trials across the ADF.

    NCODefence Force Magistrate1 x Obtaining a Financial Advantage – DFDA s 61(3) and Criminal Code s 135.2(1)

    1 x Falsifying a Service Document – DFDA s 55(1)

    The member was accused of receiving rental allow-ance in circumstances where the member knew or believed that the member was not eligible to receive it. The member was also accused of making a false service document in relation to the member’s duty location. The member pleaded guilty to the charges and was found guilty of the charges. The member was reduced in rank and sentenced to 60 days detention.

    17PERSONNELJuly 2, 2015

    CMDR Fenn Kemp

    PERSISTENCE and a new way of thinking has begun to trans-form the way Navy Engineering does business by reducing the reporting impost.

    It’s a common complaint across the RAN: core business is regularly disrupted by the need to complete a multitude of documentation.

    Worse still, the information required by one report is some-times duplicated in another.

    Staff Officer Navy Engineering Policy Rob Allard has been helping Navy reduce the amount of reports and returns or streamline those deemed necessary.

    “It started some years ago in 2011’, Mr Allard said.

    “NGN was looking at the amount of reporting undertaken in Armidale-class patrol boats.”

    The initial audit indicated a massive 1700 reports consumed 3800 work hours each year.

    It was first assumed many of these were engineering returns, but NGN’s later workload study showed the Charge was spend-ing in excess of eight hours a day at sea on administrative tasks alone.

    LCDR Shane Tacon (now Deputy Fleet MEO) subsequent-ly conducted a critical review of engineering forms and reports to make recommendations on those that could be retired with little risk to the organisation.

    One of the most constructive suggestions was made by then MEO in HMAS Sirius CMDR Ben Hurst.

    He recommended ceasing the Marine Engineering Master Log because the information was simply recorded elsewhere.

    Mr Allard said the issue was obvious.

    “We found widespread duplication, caused in part by a lack of a coordinating authority or top-down management,” he said.

    “All this was impeding Navy’s raise, train and sustain activities.

    “If we can fully automate data direct from a sensor, then that’s what we should try and do.

    “Where our people have to report something manually, we are working with Navy Information Management Systems to incorporate this data into the Navy Management Diary in ships.

    “That way it can automati-cally be replicated for aggrega-tion in the Navy Management Portal ashore.”

    The team is now seeking fur-ther input from across the fleet.

    “What we need now are sug-gestions from all ranks on ways we can make further improve-ments,” Mr Allard said.

    “This innovation started because members stepped up and sought to improve Navy business.

    “Now we need more inno-vative thoughts and action for further improvement.”

    Got an idea on how to improve reporting? Send your suggestions to: [email protected]

    Reducing reports

    DEFENCE has taken steps to further strengthen mental health policies for ADF personnel after an inquiry into a sailor’s death on HMAS Toowoomba during a port visit to Mumbai in 2011.

    A Commission of Inquiry (COI) into the circumstances surrounding the death of AB Ewan McDonald found he took his own life on October 23, 2011, as a result of acute distress about his personal rela-tionships.

    Defence continues to support AB McDonald’s family and colleagues.

    Defence consulted AB McDonald’s family before releasing the COI report.

    Defence recognises the unique demands of military ser-vice and remains committed to

    providing personnel with access to high quality health care.

    In addition to ongoing efforts to improve mental health ser-vices, Defence has implemented three recommendations arising from the Inquiry that related to mental health screening, assess-ment and management.

    Since 2009, Defence has invested $146 million on a range of support programs to help all ADF personnel, no matter the source or cause of their mental health problems.

    The ADF has also imple-mented a comprehensive Suicide Prevention Program to assist members.

    This program provides infor-mation and guidance identifying risk, suicide prevention, inter-vention and awareness.

    One recommendation was for members who were known to have previously attempted suicide to be medically down-graded to allow time to identify any potential psychiatric condi-tion.

    However, Defence will con-tinue to consider the medical classification of serving ADF personnel on a case-by-case basis to encourage people to seek assistance for mental health concerns.

    Another recommendation was to consider action against a Defence contracted civilian doctor.

    Based on the fact that AB McDonald did not have a diag-nosable mental health condition at any time, and had no suicidal incidents at sea or ashore for

    five years beore his suicide, no further action was required.

    Three other recommenda-tions from the COI relating to engineering and policy matters are being implemented.

    ADF personnel who require mental health support can access their on-base health facility or access after hours support on 1800 467 425.

    Alternatively, Defence mem-bers and their families can call the All-hours Support Line on 1800 628 036 for confidential telephone counselling support 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

    A copy of the redacted Commission of Inquiry report is available at:

    COI findings lead to changes

    Remembering RwandaA SEMINAR commemorating the Australian contribution to the UN Assistance Mission in Rwanda will take place at Weston Creek in Canberra on August 6. The Centre for Defence Leadership and Ethics is coordinating the semi-nar, which will focus on the leadership and ethical issues arising from the ADF’s commitment to Rwanda and the long-term implications for Defence. It is 21 years since Australian forces were deployed on Operation Tamar. For more information, contact LTCOL Bill Coates at [email protected]

    Family health program successMORE than 40,000 ADF family members have joined the National ADF Family Health Program since it was launched in January 2014. As of May this year, almost 60 per cent of all ADF dependants had signed up for the program and now receive gap-free GP services and up for $400 per dependant for recognised allied health care services. More information regarding the program can be found at

    New salary packaging contract SMARTSALARY Pty Ltd has been contracted to administer Defence’s flexible remuneration packaging scheme until June 30, 2018. Salary packaging is an Australian Taxation Office-approved arrangement and is available to all full and part-time ADF employees, excluding probationers and trainees. This includes reservists engaged on continuous full-time service for periods of greater than 12 months. Defence suc-cessfully negotiated a reduction in fees compared to the previous agreement including the abolition of the establishment fee and a reduction in the administra-tion fees for all APS and ADF members. Starting on July 1, all new and existing salary packaging arrange-ments will attract the new reduced fee structure. More information is available by contacting SmartSalary on 1300 476 278 or by visiting


    Navy Engineering is looking to reduce the

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    Photo: LSIS Dove Smithett

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    18 PERSONNEL July 2, 2015

    CAPT Sharon Mascall-Dare

    THIRTY-three trainees gradu-ated from the Indigenous Pre-Recruitment Course (IPRC) in Adelaide on June 11 with 10 gradu-ates already on their way to careers in the ADF.

    Eight graduates have been offered positions in the Army, one is joining the Navy and another is joining the Air Force.

    The graduation parade took place at Keswick Barracks in Adelaide, combining military elements with indigenous culture.

    Trainees demonstrated drill move-ments before performing traditional dances and were later awarded cer-tificates, recognising their graduation from the course.

    Parade reviewing officer MAJGEN

    Mick Fairweather, said sharing the graduates’ culture was as important for them as it was for the nation.

    “This course is your first step on a journey,” he said.

    “The learning and development will stand you in good stead whether you join Defence or take another path.”

    The IPRC offers personal and professional development to young indigenous men and women who are considering a career in the ADF or want to experience high-quality train-ing in a military environment.

    Hosted by 9 Brigade, the most recent course was based at Hampstead Barracks with live firing and field exercises at the Murray Bridge Training Area.

    Commander 9 Brigade BRIG Mick Burgess said he was inspired by and impressed with the young graduates.

    “They are an example to others in setting out to achieve their goals with commitment and determination,” he said.

    He said 9 Bde was proud to have contributed to the success of the course by providing support to IPRC staff and the graduates.

    “We value the unique contribution that Indigenous men and women make to the ADF,” he said.

    “We are committed to promoting cultural diversity in our workforce.”

    Senior indigenous mentor WO1 Colin Watego is a Bundjalung and Torres Strait Islander man who has served in the ADF for 40 years.

    “The IPRC changes lives,” he said. “It offers unique personal and pro-

    fessional development opportunities to young Indigenous people from across Australia.

    “Every young person who comes

    here is on a journey. We support them on their journey into the ADF or give them skills they can use in other careers, as role models in their local communities.”

    The six-week course focused on five core training modules: Indigenous and military culture; academic advancement; fitness and life skills; introduction to military training; and job preparation and interview skills.

    Other graduates intend to pursue their applications to join the ADF over the coming months, or take their new skills back to their communities.

    Three graduates are now planning to apply for jobs with the APS.

    For further information about the IPRC, visit

    ORRICK Sturt, 20 from Townsville, has been offered a position as a Navy chef after com-pleting the course. “The IPRC brings the two cultures together – military culture and indigenous culture,” said Orrick. “On this course I feel like I’ve made a new family as well as having my own family in Townsville.” “The training wasn’t what I expected and it’s been good. It’s taught me how to be disci-plined.” “It’s been inspiring to learn from the instruc-tors on the course – some of them also come from Indigenous backgrounds. “My family didn’t think I could do this course and they thought I’d be home in a couple of weeks. They are very proud of what I’m achieving, and I’ll be the first in our family in the ADF.”

    Merging culturesGraduates of the Australian Defence Force Indigenous Pre-Recruitment Course (IPRC) entertain VIPs and guests with dance routines during the graduation parade

    held at Keswick Barracks, Adelaide. Photos: CPL Nicci Freeman

    Recruit Orrick Sturt

    New journey for trainees

  • LIKE a scene from Star Wars where the autonomous droid hovers hundreds of miles from its base, relaying vital intel-ligence to its commander, the RAN is on the cusp of implementing this type of asset.

    The Navy unmanned aircraft system development unit (NUASDU) took part in a demonstration as part of the Navy UAS Experimentation Program run by HQFAA.

    While not quite the silent hover-ing unit of science fiction, the S-100 Camcopter, a product of Austrian-based company Schiebel, is a capable vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) platform that can employ many different payloads to be used in many different roles.

    OIC NUASDU LCDR Ben Crowther said this was the first time Navy had looked at a VTOL type of UAS and he was impressed by what he had seen.

    “Our job is to inform future acquisi-tion projects on the feasibility and capa-bility of UAS for future maritime tactical operations,” LCDR Crowther said.

    “We’re conducting an experimental phase at the moment and in particular we are looking at the capability of the aircraft to carry multiple payloads, such as the Selex synthetic aperture radar and electronics support measures (ESM) payloads in addition to the Wescam MX-10 turret with electro-optical and infrared cameras.

    “While our primary concern is in the intelligence, surveillance reconnaissance (ISR) space, as the Navy moves to a

    Schiebel Unmanned Air Systems S-100 Camcopter

    Autonomy: Fully autonomous take off, waypoint navigation and landingNavigation: redundant INS and GPSPower plant: 50HP rotary engineData/video link: fully digital, com-pressed video (up to four simultane-ous feeds)Typical D/L range: 50, 100 or 200kmDash speed: 90ktsCruise speed: 55kts ( for best endurance)Endurance: >6hr with 24kg payload (optional external fuel tank extend endurance to >10hr)Typical payload: 50kgMean take-off weight: 200kgMax dimensions: 3110mm length; 1120mm height; 1240mm widthMain rotor diameter: 3400mm

    more amphibious capability, we can also see applications in supporting combat operations in the littoral environment in a forward observer type role.”

    LCDR Crowther said the intent of a system such as the S-100 was to extend the range of the ship’s sensors.

    “The aircraft operates outside the range of the organic sensors of the platform it is operating from and sup-plements the maritime operating picture for the principal warfare officer. This in turn frees up the manned aircraft. In this regard we aim to be a complementary asset for the manned helicopter, not a replacement,” he said.

    “Using a UAS mitigates the risk of having a human there in the potentially dangerous environment.

    “The aircraft is controlled by a team on the ground or ship. The beauty of this system is we can keep rotating crew through so we can theoretically stay on

    task, indefinitely using the ability to conduct relief in place operations with multiple unmanned aircraft.”

    The system allows sailors to fly the aircraft with an aircrew officer as a mis-sion commander.

    Initial testing of the advanced pay-loads and S-100 UAS paint the proposed capability in a good light. The on-board processors can be loaded with libraries of signals from known contacts and hunt them, or they can be learnt on-the-fly as the mission develops.

    COMFAA CDRE Vince Di Pietro said this was the way of the future.

    “It’s really important to understand how we can get both aircraft working together”, he said.

    “There are things this can do for us that we traditionally did with a manned platform. We wouldn’t want to be wast-ing precious hours and manpower when what you want is an eye in the sky,

    listening, looking and learning where things are – analysing exactly what the picture has told you and saving your more expensive and manned platform to do the more granular interrogation.

    “The footprint of this platform is far exceeded by the benefit you receive in the ESM, EW or optical space.”

    The small aircraft and its supporting hardware could easily be fitted to a frig-ate or a platform as small as a patrol boat or hydrographic survey vessel.

    The entire system of two airframes, ground control units, antennae and tools fits into a small shipping container.

    CDRE Di Pietro said the future for Navy was looking bright.

    “We not only have our LHDs and AWDs about to come on line – we have the Romeo Seahawk, which is the best maritime combat helicopter available on the planet,” he said.

    “Notwithstanding its utility at sea in

    a combat role but also at the other end of its spectrum it can be complemented. In the silent hours or while the crew are resting or the aircraft is being main-tained, this thing can be out there doing the listening and looking. You have the best of both worlds.”

    LCDR Crowther said the demonstra-tion followed the recent demonstration of the Insitu Integrator platform, also a multipayload-capable UAS.

    “The general idea was to evaluate both fixed and rotary wing variants, with advanced payload options to bet-ter inform acquisition projects in the future,” he said.

    “The demonstrations came about as a result of Navy’s desire to have expo-sure to a more advanced platform than ScanEagle, which is currently in use, and evaluate advanced sensor payloads. This, in turn, will allow NUASDU to provide accurate advice to future projects.”

    More than flights of fancyWhile not quite sci-fi, the latest unmanned aircraft system is close, LSIS Jayson Tufrey reports.


    Hans Schiebel explains the workings of the S-100 Camcopter to COMFAA CDRE Vince Di Pietro.

    S-100 Camcopters on display and in action at

    Jervis Bay airfield.Photos: LSIS Jayson Tufrey

    19FEATURESJuly 2, 2015

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    20 TRAINING July 2, 2015 21TRAININGJuly 2, 2015

    LSIS Helen Frank

    SOLDIERS from the 2nd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (2RAR) hit the high seas as the regiment embarked in HMAS Canberra for the first time on June 6.

    The ship recently completed first-of-class trials and is working towards achieving unit readiness. This evaluation will assess the ship across all her capabilities, including deploying Army personnel, vehicles and equipment via helicopter and landing craft.

    The ADF has not had this level of amphibious capability before and the soldiers were keen to help put the ship through her paces.

    Soldiers boarded the ship in Townsville and wasted no time familiarising themselves with the vessel.

    PTE Colin Luck, of Bravo Company, said he was impressed with Canberra’s size and capabil-ities.

    “The force integration the Navy is now capable of is great,” he said.

    “Having a battle group with 2RAR and all the attachments on board is exciting.”

    PTE Luck said the sailors were

    helpful in giving the soldiers direc-tions around the ship when they were looking a little lost and the hospitality was great.

    “Without getting our mess in trouble, the Navy meals definitely trump ours,” he said.

    The troops went through training serials and evolutions on board, starting with learning the ship’s rou-tines for emergencies and leaving ship stations.

    PTE Luck said getting used to the Navy jargon was a little tricky but the troops had been well briefed.

    “We all managed to get to the right places at the right time and be accounted for,” he said.

    Canberra’s amphibious opera-tions officer, MAJ Mathew Singers, said the initial embarkation of 26 vehicles and 156 troops also went smoothly.

    “We had everything from G-Wagons to ASLAVs on board. The troops included engineers, infantry, artillery, drivers, clerks, signallers and two explosive detec-tion dogs,” he said.

    The ship will exercise assault stations, where the troops and the ship’s company will practise mov-ing personnel through the assembly area on the light cargo deck up to

    the flight deck and down to the well dock.

    MAJ Singers said after the ini-tial practice the troops would do it in full combat load, collecting the equipment they would take ashore and rehearsing loading into helicop-ters and landing craft.

    He said the process tested the ship’s standard operating procedures for tactical and non-tactical deploy-ment of troops.

    “After being with this project for the last 18 months it’s good to finally find out how the amphibious element fits,” he said.

    “It’s good in the respect that we are filling the gaps in our knowledge by putting into practice what we had previously only seen on paper.”

    Later this year Canberra will return to the north-east coast to again embark the regiment.

    “This first exercise focused on unit readiness and making sure the ship could deploy amphibious forces in what would generally be a benign environment,” MAJ Singers said.

    “In the second half of the year, these exercises will progressively work the ship and 2RAR up to be able to deploy amphibious forces by sea and by air in a tactical, high-threat environment.”

    Soldiers find their sea legs

    LSIS Helen Frank

    Over the years, stories of domestic animals on board warships have become the stuff of legend. Think Red Lead, the cat that survived the sinking of HMAS Perth in WWII.

    HMAS Canberra continued the tradition while in Townsville in June, taking two dogs on board.

    Soldiers from 2RAR embarked Canberra in Townsville to assist the landing helicopter dock with achieving unit readiness.

    Embarking among the infantrymen, engineers and support staff were two explosive detection dog handlers and their dogs, PJ and Skye.

    PJ, a seven-year-old, stubby tailed blue cattle dog, is a veteran of two deployments to the Middle East. Skye is a three-year-old border collie trained by CPL Mark Worthington.

    PJ’s handler, SPR Sean Weston, said the dogs didn’t seem to mind the living arrangements.

    “They were living in one of the bathrooms and we put down some mats and astro turf to make them comfortable,” SPR Weston said.

    “We took them down to the well dock, where they could run around for some exercise and PJ also did PT with me.”

    The dogs will accompany troops ashore in hos-tile environments where there is a threat of impro-vised explosive devices.

    “My dog and I can be deployed ashore via heli-copter or landing craft,” SPR Weston said.

    “In the helicopter, the dog wears a muzzle for extra protection in case she gets spooked and she sits between my legs with her lead connected to me for safety.

    “We would be embedded into an engineer search team and would conduct search operations with them, clearing routes and locating weapon caches.”

    The dogs’ presence seemed to lift the morale of Canberra’s crew.

    ABAVN-NS Gabriella Hayllar said seeing the dogs was “good for the soul”.

    “I wanted to take one to breakfast so I could slip her some bacon under the table,” she said.

    Dogs worth a berth and bacon

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    WO2 Jason Martin briefs soldiers from 2RAR on

    board HMAS Canberra.Inset: Soldiers transit

    on the lightweight cargo elevator to the heavy

    vehicle deck. Photos: POIS Ollie Garside

    AB Gabriella Hayllar with PJ

    and handler SPR Sean Weston.

    Photo: LSIS Helen Frank

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    Shedding light on sleepUsing your smart phone and tablet at night may be reducing your sleep quality, psychologist CAPT Jason Harris reports.

    GETTING a good night’s sleep can be a challenge, yet you might be making falling asleep more difficult without even realising.

    There has been an increase in inter-est about the potential psychological and physiological effects of excessive expo-sure to ‘blue light’ as a result of ready access to, and reliance on, electronic devices that use LED technology.

    Research has begun to look at the effect of blue light on sleep patterns.

    Blue light refers to light within the short wavelength range.

    It is the range of visible light to which our sleep-wake cycle (circadian rhythm) is maximally sensitive.

    Blue light is found naturally in sun-light along with other wavelengths, which influences the production of melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate our sleep-wake cycle.

    Exposure to bright light suppresses melatonin, which increases alertness and attention, and is accompanied by physi-ological changes associated with wakeful-ness such as body temperature.

    Darkness, on the other hand, stimu-lates melatonin production, which triggers the body’s preparation for sleep.

    Excessive use of artificial LEDs rich in blue light, such as electronic screens and energy-efficient lighting, can affect the production of melatonin and the body’s ability to effectively synchronise sleep patterns.

    It is estimated that up to 30 per cent of the world’s population have problems falling or staying asleep.

    Exposure to blue light does not neces-sarily entail disordered sleep patterns and there is considerable variation in ‘normal’ sleep duration.

    However, there is also sufficient pre-liminary evidence to suggest that exces-sive exposure to blue light, especially at night, increases the risk of sleep distur-bance. Short-term effects of sleep distur-bance include: reduced cognitive performance; poor work performance; increased risk of accidents; and increased irritability.

    Long-term effects include interper-sonal, social and occupation problems, as well as psychological distress.

    For ADF members, potential opera-tional effects of fatigue are varied and substantial.

    CAPT Jason Harris is posted to 1st Psychology Unit which has provided operational psychology and mental health support to ADF members for 52 years.

    The unit can be activated to respond to short-notice critical incidents.

    CO 1st Psychology Unit LTCOL Laura Sinclair said the unit also provided expertise in human performance initiatives through the application of biometrics, resilience and mental fitness training and psychological readiness strategies.

    “The intellectual and emotional demands of both operations and everyday life require intellectual preparation and psychological endurance,” she said.

    “It is through the development of mental resilience paralleled with physical resilience that personnel can aim to achieve their full potential.

    “This is where 1st Psychology Unit can provide command with the tools, expertise and guidance to build and foster the human and psychological capital of their capability – their people.”

    For more information, visit http://legacy/TeamWeb2010/ARMY/forcomd/17-CSS-BDE/1PSYCHUNIT/

    As noted in the Fatigue Man