With great fanfare, more than 1,500 officers and sailors have lined the decks of HMAS Canberra in the Australian Fleet’s 2017 Ceremonial Divisions.
Sydney Harbour provided a spectacular backdrop as personnel from East based ships and shore establishments gathered in their finest summer uniform.
The divisions were reviewed by Commander Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Stuart Mayer who said the occasion marked a successful – and significant – year.
“This year we have reintroduced the destroyer to the Australian Fleet with the commissioning of HMAS Hobart,” he said.
“We have deployed maritime task groups in complex multinational exercises such as Talisman Sabre and used them to excellent effect in the inaugural Joint Maritime Task Group deployment Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2017.
“We have continued our important work in the Middle East region; in maritime border protection and responded to regional disasters speedily and effectively to protect life and support neighbours and friends.”
The divisions included units from HMA Ships Canberra, Adelaide, Choules, Success, Hobart, Melbourne, Anzac, Parramatta and Farncomb, and shore establishments HMA Ships Kuttabul, Watson, Waterhen and Penguin.
“Whether you have served in submarines, ships, boats, aircraft or the specialist teams we deploy, or in the engineering and sustainment activities on which we depend, you have brought great credit to Navy through your professionalism, competence and sense of duty,” Rear Admiral Mayer said.
“You have met these challenges head on and excelled, well done.”
The divisions included the presentation of Fleet Awards, with the announcement of the coveted Gloucester Cup award going to Hydrographic Survey ship Blue Crew based in Cairns.
The Gloucester Cup is presented to the unit, crew, squadron, clearance dive team or establishment that has excelled in all aspects of operations, safety, reliability and unit level training.
Parades are a long established military tradition dating back to feudal England and beyond.
Command Ceremonial Navy – Coordinator, Chief Petty Officer Felipe Caceres said the ceremony was underpinned by contemporary navy values.
“It’s a demonstration of our commitment to team work, discipline, professionalism and pride in ourselves, our uniform and each other,” he said.