Smallest vessel draws the largest crowd at MILAN 2014

Published on LSIS Jo Dilorenzo (author and photographer)

Location(s): Port Blair, India

Topic(s): HMAS Childers (P93)

ARDENT SIX crew members embarked in HMAS Childers serve food at the Australian tent during MILAN 2014 food and cultural display alongside Port Blair, India. (photo: LSIS Jo Dilorenzo)
ARDENT SIX crew members embarked in HMAS Childers serve food at the Australian tent during MILAN 2014 food and cultural display alongside Port Blair, India.

HMAS Childers may be the smallest international vessel at MILAN 2014, but the Armidale Class Patrol boat drew the largest crowd at the food and cultural display in Port Blair, India.

Over 500 representatives from 18 nations involved in the Indian Navy hosted maritime activity, were invited to sample foods from participating nations and be entertained by cultural dancing.

The chef onboard Childers was looking forward to participating in the display - that required ingredients be purchased prior to departing Australia.

Previously awarded the ‘silver platter’ on minor war vessels, Leading Seaman (LS) Maritime Logistic Chef Andrew Laundon was the mastermind behind the Australian tent.

“Our meats included kangaroo, emu and crocodile which drew a lot of attention and were enjoyed by all that tried them,” said LS Laundon.

Six members of the ARDENT SIX crew embarked in Childers assisted the chef to deliver the most popular food at the display.

The selection of Aussie foods was an eclectic selection of iconic Australian food ranging from barbecued native meats to the Aussie meat pie, Vegemite on fresh bread, Anzac biscuits and mini pavlovas.

Commanding Officer of ARDENT SIX, Lieutenant Commander (LCDR) Christopher Brough was very proud of his crew, enthusing that they had not only done an outstanding job of representing Australia but had managed to do it with a distinctly Aussie flavour.

“Throughout MILAN 2014, the crew have been a credit to the Royal Australian Navy, and over two days have hosted almost a thousand people from a number of nations aboard the ship.

“The food festival was a chance for the chef to showcase his talent and it was obviously well received as the Australian food was consumed in record time,” said LCDR Brough.

MILAN 2014 is a biennial international naval event hosted by the Indian Navy in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The 18 nations participating in MILAN attended a Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) seminar, sea passage exercise and various activities to encourage interaction with different navies.

During the transit to India, Childers conducted logistic and goodwill port visits to Singapore, Yangon and Chittagong.

Imagery is available on the Royal Australian Navy Media Library at http://images.navy.gov.au/S20140229.

Executive Officer of ARDENT SIX crew embarked in HMAS Childers, Lieutenant Deanna Garbutt welcomes visitors onboard HMAS Childers during a ships' open day with all navies involved in MILAN 2014, alongside Port Blair, India.

Executive Officer of ARDENT SIX crew embarked in HMAS Childers, Lieutenant Deanna Garbutt welcomes visitors onboard HMAS Childers during a ships' open day with all navies involved in MILAN 2014, alongside Port Blair, India.