The Royal Australian Navy has taken front stage at Larrakeyah Defence Precinct in Darwin with the relocation of HMAS Coonawarra Command Headquarters to the entrance of the joint Defence base.
The move aims to improve Coonawarra’s ability to support operations in the north by placing it under the same roof as other military and civilian assets tasked with the same mission.
It also gives Defence contractors better access for maintenance works to Navy's Armidale Class Patrol Boats by relocating them to the former headquarters on the waterfront.
Commanding Officer, Commander Viktor Pilicic, said the changes would help Coonawarra to take greater leadership in providing a maritime effect at Larrakeyah and in Darwin.
“Coonawarra will also be better placed to provide a launch pad for our ships to fight and win at sea through opening infrastructure on the waterfront that will enable the efficient support of Armidale Class Patrol Boats as they continue to sail on operations and assist in the transition to Offshore Patrol Vessels,” Commander Pilicic said.
Navy’s Armidale Class Patrol Boats play an important role in Operation RESOLUTE - the Australian Defence Force's contribution to the Whole-of-Government effort to protect Australia's borders and offshore maritime interests.
Coonawarra’s mission is to provide logistic and administrative support to the 12 boats and crews based in Darwin and to visiting naval vessels that patrol Australia’s maritime domain.
Rear Admiral Stuart Mayer opened the new headquarters in one of his last official functions as Commander of the Australian Fleet.
Rear Admiral Mayer said the changes were about ensuring Navy could meet tomorrow’s challenges.
“When people come through the front gate of Larrakeyah Defence Precinct they see Coonawarra front and centre and see Coonawarra side-by-side with public service and the other Services. It really is a great message,” he said.