After a hectic year, the crew of the Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Anzac is undergoing significant change as new crew members are welcomed, and many longstanding members are farewelled as they take up new challenges.
Anzac’s outgoing Commanding Officer, Commander Matthew Doornbos, was the longest standing officer in the ship’s company of around 180 officers and sailors, and one of the many crew members preparing for their next posting.
“In mid-November we welcomed aboard over 25 new joiners to Anzac, and more will be joining in the coming weeks as the ship prepares to undertake a deployment which will see her visit Gallipoli in April, along with other destinations in the northern hemisphere.
“While it would be easy for us to begin to relax and let the new crew finalise the preparations, the entire ship’s crew takes a great deal of pride in getting the ship ready for her deployment – even those of us who won’t be undertaking the voyage,” Commander Doornbos said.
“We have put to sea again this week to bring new crew up to speed, and continue the process of gaining the ship’s sea qualifications following her recent Anti-Ship Missile Defence upgrade.”
Assistant Marine Engineering Officer Lieutenant Kerry Adams, the second longest serving officer in the crew, is proud of the achievements of the crew in the two years she has been part of the ship’s company.
“I joined the crew of HMAS Ballarat, Anzac’s sister ship, and participated in a number of operational deployments before we took the ship over to the west to dock her for the upgrade, simultaneously bringing Anzac out of the program.
“For the past six months our job has been to prepare Anzac for sea, and for her 2015 deployment.
“From an engineering perspective we have faced a range of challenges, as would be expected for a ship that has been on extended readiness and then had a major upgrade, so there is a lot of satisfaction with what we’ve achieved in just a few months,” Lieutenant Adams said.
Communication flow is a critical element of modern warfare and Anzac’s Communications and Information Systems Manager, Chief Petty Officer Craig Andrew, has been busy overseeing the fitting, testing and implementation of a communications suite that will be vital during Anzac’s global deployment in 2015.
“The new communications capabilities are important for achieving our mission, which will see major challenges during 2015, such as live broadcasts on Anzac Day, and interoperability with foreign navies during various exercises.
“While deployed Anzac’s crew will also rely on our systems to stay in touch with family and friends,” Chief Petty Officer Andrew said.
Leading Seaman Dan Hannah is leaving Anzac to begin the next phase of his Navy career, as he commences training to become an Aircrew member for the Navy’s Fleet Air Arm.
“As a Combat Systems Operator, I’ve been impressed with the new capabilities provided by the upgrade.
“Being part of Ballarat, before the upgrade, and now Anzac, I’ve seen the massive jump in high end warfighting capability.
“Once I complete my Aircrew training I look forward to coming back for future postings,” Leading Seaman Hannah said.
While many Australians look forward to extended Summer vacations, the hardworking crew of Anzac will have only a short break before continuing on with their deployment preparations.
“As the outgoing Commanding Officer I am proud of the whole crew for finishing 2014 strongly. We have achieved a lot, helping to ready the ship for an important deployment.
“We have recently tested our weapons systems, helicopter capabilities, emergency responses and worked in company with other ships, so that Anzac continues to be ready for anything.
“These efforts set a solid foundation for the 2015 crew, under the leadership of Commander Belinda Wood,” Commander Doornbos said.
Additional imagery is available at: http://images.navy.gov.au/S20143709.