After a well earned Christmas break the ship’s company of HMAS Canberra have taken the newly commissioned Landing Helicopter Dock to sea for the first time this year.
In the lead up to Australia Day where the ship will take centre stage on Sydney Harbour, the crew have been put through a range of scenarios to ensure the ship’s safety.
Following her role in Australia Day celebrations, Canberra will sail to commence First of Class Trials followed by a work-up cycle later in the year which will extend across all her capabilities.
This week the crew’s skill and knowledge was tested with fires, floods and various other emergencies. Boat drills were also conducted to ensure guests on Australia Day can be embarked onto the ship safely.
The ship will be positioned between the Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge for the Australia Day festivities and will have almost 200 guests onboard including the Governor of New South Wales, His Excellency General David Hurley.
The Governor will be on the flight deck of Canberra to take the 'Salute to Australia', a 21 gun salute conducted by the Army at Bradfield Park and a fly over by Royal Australian Air Force jets.
On completion of the salute at midday, choirs will join together as one and sing the National Anthem from around the Sydney foreshore and onboard Canberra.
The ship’s company of Canberra are excited to have the prime viewing position in the harbour as all the Australia Day activities take place around them.
Leading Seaman Maritime Logistics - Personnel Kathryn Morris will be an escort for guests and said she is excited at the prospect of being on the flight deck during the festivities.
“I’m really looking forward to participating on the day,” Leading Seaman Morris said.
“It will be great to be on the harbour with all the other boats around us.”
Canberra’s Navigator, Lieutenant Commander Calvin Johnson, possibly has the biggest job of the day as he will be required to keep the ship in the same position on the harbour for approximately four hours.
Lieutenant Commander Johnson said the Command team have conducted training at the Port Ash Ship Handling Centre and several rehearsals in the bridge simulator at HMAS Watson in preparation for the day.
“The ship will be held in position by manoeuvring the azipods and bowthrusters, which will all be done by hand by either the Commanding Officer or myself,” Lieutenant Commander Johnson said.
“We will be very focused on holding the ship in navigationally constrained areas for an extended period.
“Australia Day is a big event in the Australian calendar and something that I think we’re all extremely proud to be a part of.”