Defence doors open for Darwin display

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Todd Fitzgerald (author), LSPH Helen Frank (photographer), ABIS Kayla Hayes (photographer)

Location(s): Larrakeyah

Topic(s): HMAS Coonawarra, Navy Week, Open Day

Parade Commander and Executive Officer HMAS Coonawarra, Lieutenant Commander Phillipa Hay, stands at ease with the ceremonial guard during Northern Territory Navy Divisions, held at HMAS Coonawarra, as a part of Navy Week in the Northern Territory. (photo: ABIS Kayla Hayes)
Parade Commander and Executive Officer HMAS Coonawarra, Lieutenant Commander Phillipa Hay, stands at ease with the ceremonial guard during Northern Territory Navy Divisions, held at HMAS Coonawarra, as a part of Navy Week in the Northern Territory.

Australian Defence Force service men and women and United States Marines are busy putting the finishing touches on displays and activities in readiness for the Larrakeyah Defence Precinct Open Day from 1pm to 7pm on Saturday, 12 August.

HMAS Coonawarra is an integral part of the precinct and this rare event will mark the start of Northern Territory Navy Week.

Captain Bryan Parker of the Royal Australian Navy said preparations for the event had been underway for over a month and this was an opportunity for the local community to get a taste of military life in the Top End.

“It has been quite a while since we opened our gates to the public, and I think visitors will get an exciting taste of what this base in the middle of Darwin provides to the security of our nation,” Captain Parker said.

An array of military hardware will be on display including a Navy patrol boat, Army helicopters, tactical vehicles and artillery pieces, the Air Force military working dogs will put on a demonstration and there will be members from the US Marine Rotational Force – Darwin.

Navy will provide boat rides to the public and close the open day with a spectacular Ceremonial Sunset and concert at 6pm.

Public transport is recommended; however, limited parking is available on site. Entry is free via Packard St, Larrakeyah, with visitors asked to make a gold coin donation to Legacy on the day. Food and beverages will be available for purchase and there will be rides and activities for children.

Navy Week is expected to be bigger and better than ever with community activities planned for Darwin, Alice Springs and Jabiru from 12 to 20 August.

HMAS Coonawarra will conduct Ceremonial Divisions and Sunset Ceremony at Mindil Beach Markets on the evening of Thursday, 17 August. This military tradition is normally conducted behind closed doors and is an event not to be missed.

Executive Officer Coonawarra Lieutenant Commander Phillipa Hay said Navy Week was an opportunity to thank the local community for its support.

“And we like to put on a show, so we have quite a variety of activities planned for the week,” she said.