The recent commissioning of HMAS Adelaide was an extra special day for Army Sergeant Wilson Munoz, who was selected to read a prayer during the ceremony.
His wife Rebecca, sister Catherine and three children Mateo, Jonah and Elise, were on hand as Sergeant Munoz read bible verses in both Spanish and English.
The aircraft technical manager, who has an important role maintaining Adelaide’s aircraft support systems, says it was a moment to remember.
“It was a once in a lifetime opportunity to be in the commissioning crew of a ship,” he said.
Adelaide was commissioned alongside Garden Island, Sydney on 4 December with the Governor-General, His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove, AK, MC (Retd) the guest of honour.
The second of two amphibious ships built for the Navy marks the transformation of Australian Defence Force capability. The ships can be configured to undertake a broad spectrum of operations from humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, security and stability operations to defence of the nation. They are capable of deploying or withdrawing land forces via air or sea in a variety of conditions.
“I joined Adelaide from my previous unit 6 Aviation Regiment at the beginning of the year,” Sergeant Munoz said.
“Since then, I’ve done a few sea rides on HMAS Canberra which have been really beneficial for my current position.
“Now we’ve commissioned Adelaide, I ‘m looking forward to going to sea, seeing a bit of the world and getting into a good routine.
“It’s definitely got some challenges, but it’s quite enjoyable.”
The 230 metre long ships, known as Landing Helicopter Docks, are the largest ships ever built for the Navy. The 27,000 tonne vessels can deploy an embarked force of over 1,000 personnel and their equipment, landing ashore via landing craft or helicopters. In addition to two operating theatres, the ships have an eight bed Critical Care Unit, resuscitation, and a variety of wards, pathology, radiology, x-ray, pharmacy and dental facilities.