More than 400 officers and sailors from the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) marched through the City of Adelaide, exercising their Freedom of Entry.
The time-honoured tradition coincides with the second port visit to Adelaide by the Navy’s latest warship, the amphibious ship HMAS Adelaide (III).
Commanding Officer, Captain Jonathan Ley, RAN, said the march was the culmination of five year’s hard work and a great source of pride.
“To say we have been anticipating this moment is an understatement,” Captain Ley said.
“As well as being one of two of the largest ships in the fleet, Adelaide is also one of the most sophisticated and capable.
“We are the third ship to carry the name Adelaide, with our predecessors serving with great distinction in the Second World War and the Persian Gulf respectively.”
Joined by members of the Royal Australian Navy Band, the ship’s company marched down King William Street, towards Adelaide Town Hall, where the traditional challenge was made and Freedom of Entry was heartily granted.
“We carry the name Adelaide with a great deal of pride and respect,” Captain Ley said.
“Respect for the service personnel who have gone before us and pride in the great city and community whom we represent.
“It was very encouraging to see the community line the streets in large numbers to show their support.”
The tradition of Freedom of Entry originates in medieval times, when a city would show its trust in a group of men-at-arms by allowing them to enter their walls without being disarmed. These days the right of Freedom of Entry is a symbolic mark of honour and support from a city to a military unit.
The last visit by HMAS Adelaide took place in June 2016, which included exercising Freedom of Entry.