As the sun rises on the centenary of the Gallipoli landings, Australians everywhere will be pausing to remember the sacrifices made by over 102,000 Australians in war. Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Anzac will take centre stage for several of the major commemorative events.
Led by Commander Belinda Wood, Anzac’s ship’s company has commenced a series of shakedown and readiness activities that will ensure the ship is 'in all respects ready' to represent Australia at activities in the Dardanelles and Gallipoli in April, to be followed by a series of international port visits.
“Our mission in 2015 is to showcase the Navy’s capability of high end warfighting - a capability that the young Navy worked hard to develop 100 years ago, and has worked hard to maintain ever since.
“The 'spirit of Anzac' is a defining characteristic for the Australian people, and as members of the Australian Defence Force we are proud to be stewards of that enduring spirit.
“Anzac’s representational role is an exciting mission for our crew, and like our forebears, we need to be ready to travel half way around the world where we will work both alone and in conjunction with colleagues from allied navies,” Commander Wood said.
In order to prepare for the year, Anzac’s crew will work up and be evaluated in a variety of seamanship and warfare evolutions, flight operations and damage control activities.
In the first working week of 2015, Anzac took on a significant load of fresh produce and stores to keep the crew well fed and healthy, and undertook a wide range of engineering and systems checks to prepare the ship for sea.
At the start of the second week of the year, Anzac sailed from Fleet Base East in company with HMAS Melbourne to commence preparations for the upcoming evaluations.
Anzac’s head chef, Chief Petty Officer Damien Kann, described the process of feeding a crew of almost 200 women and men as being challenging.
“As we go through our workup and readiness program we are working in 'defence watches', meaning that at any one time half the crew is ‘on watch’, whilst the other half is doing admin work, exercising or resting.
“This means that we are serving four main meals each day - breakfast, lunch, dinner and 'midnighters' - so our catering team is working hard to prepare and serve quality meals, whilst also taking on our share of firefighting and medical support during the various damage control exercises," he said.
“The work undertaken by the entire crew is challenging, but we are all looking forward to the satisfaction that we will gain from smashing the evaluations, and heading off to do our job representing the Australian people,” Chief Petty Officer Kann said.
HMAS Anzac will deploy on Exercise NORTHERN TRIDENT 2015 during which it will participate in the Centenary of Anzac commemorations in April, followed by a series of important international engagements.
Imagery is available on the Navy Image Library at http://images.navy.gov.au/S20150035.