A healthy year for HMAS Penguin

Published on WO John O’Brien (author), ABIS Sarah Ebsworth (photographer)

Location(s): HMAS Penguin

Topic(s): HMAS Penguin, Submarine and Underwater Medicine Unit (SUMU)

Dignitaries, former Clearance Divers and personnel from HMAS Penguin listen to Commanding Officer HMAS Penguin, Commander Paul Doble, RAN, during the HMAS Penguin redevelopment opening ceremony, Sydney. (photo: ABIS Sarah Ebsworth)
Dignitaries, former Clearance Divers and personnel from HMAS Penguin listen to Commanding Officer HMAS Penguin, Commander Paul Doble, RAN, during the HMAS Penguin redevelopment opening ceremony, Sydney.

Mosman based establishment, HMAS Penguin achieved a number of milestones this year with the completion of a range of new facilities, improving health support and training to the Fleet.
 
In early December, the upgraded Diving School and the Submarine and Underwater Medicine Unit (SUMU) were opened after two years of construction.
 
Executive Officer Lieutenant Commander Jason Taylor says the new facilities have boosted support to the Fleet.
 
“2013 has been a memorable year for Penguin. The redevelopment project was a key focus and has enhanced capability. For the first time, RANDS and SUMU have purpose built facilities. We also saw the new Australian Defence Force centre for mental health open,” said Lieutenant Commander Taylor.
 
“The redevelopment was complex and disruptive, but our people managed to provide all the training and support required to operations at the same tempo.”
 
Penguin personnel also enjoyed taking part in International Fleet Review events and we were honoured to take part in a Freedom of Entry parade through the City of Mosman, affirming our relationship with the community” said Lieutenant Commander Taylor.
 
During 2013, SUMU celebrated their 50th Anniversary with the opening of a new two storey medical facility, which officer in charge Lieutenant Commander Joel Hissink says will improve medical support to diving operations.
 
“SUMU staff worked hard this year, supporting diving training and operations while based in a number of temporary facilities across Penguin. With the new building now complete, we’ve been busy preparing for the big job of establishing new acute treatment areas and consulting rooms. These will open to patients in early 2014,” said Lieutenant Commander Hissink.
 
“During the year we also established a new sick bay at the Pittwater Annex and supported a number of activities during 2013, deploying on Operation RENDER SAFE in the Solomon Islands and taking part submarine escape and rescue training exercise in Exercise BLACK CARILLION. In addition we supported many units with their diving activities, including RANDS, Australian Clearance Diving Team One and the Mine Hunters,” said Lieutenant Commander Hissink.