First Lady of the Fleet celebrates

This article has photo gallery Published on LCDR Jason O’Gorman (author)

Topic(s): Fleet Base East, HMAS Darwin (F04)

HMAS Darwin's ship's company celebrate the ship's 33rd birthday by forming the number 33 on the flight deck, while at sea. (photo: Unknown)
HMAS Darwin's ship's company celebrate the ship's 33rd birthday by forming the number 33 on the flight deck, while at sea.

As the activities of Exercise TALISMAN SABRE 17 started to draw to a conclusion in July, the crew of HMAS Darwin, took the chance of a brief time out to celebrate the final seagoing birthday of the Fleet veteran.

Darwin’s cooks pooled their talents together to create a cake in the shape of ‘33’, with enough to go around to her crew of approximately 190.

With most of the crew gathered in the Junior Sailors’ Café, Commanding Officer, Commander Phillip Henry took the opportunity to reflect on the team’s recent achievements and contribution to her rich history.

Darwin has spent over ten years continuously at sea,” Commander Henry said.

“The ship has sailed the equivalent of 50 times around the earth’s equator, and has been the home to over 4,300 sailors and officers over the years.”

As the milestone was Darwin’s final birthday prior to decommissioning, Commander Henry then regaled the crew with a list of significant events and milestones the ship had achieved over her lifetime.

Then came the traditional cutting of the birthday cake by Commander Henry and the youngest crew member onboard, Seaman Combat Systems Operator Letitia Jarvis-Soars.

Still going strong after so many years of service, Darwin has a consistently proud history of getting the job done when called upon.

She is scheduled to participate in a deployment to South East Asia prior to her farewell visit to the city of Darwin and subsequent decommissioning at Fleet Base East, Sydney, in December 2017.