The civilian crew of Australian Defence Vessel (ADV) Ocean Shield yesterday received a Commander Australian Fleet commendation for their professional excellence, dedication and esprit-de-corps during their recent service to the Royal Australian Navy.
The 6,500 tonne Offshore Support Vessel was brought into service in June 2012 to bolster the humanitarian and disaster relief capability of the Royal Australian Navy. Since that time ADV Ocean Shield has supported MU90 torpedo trials, Exercise BLACK CARILLION 2013 and most recently Operation SOUTHERN INDIAN OCEAN in the search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight.
Representing Commander Australian Fleet, Captain Tony Rayner read the commendation to Master and crew of the Australian Defence Vessel ADV Ocean Shield for their exemplary performance in support to the Australian Defence Force mission from 2012-2014.
“Ocean Shield has undertaken a number of challenging, demanding and varied missions which were completed with the highest levels of professional excellence. Ocean Shield displayed outstanding reliability during its two year service in the Australian Defence Force - not once did it fail to achieve its preparedness requirement,” Captain Rayner said.
The Master of ADV Ocean Shield, Nick Woods said it was a privilege to be commended for their hard work.
“It has been so great to work so closely with the Royal Australian Navy. From a civilian point of view we have pride in our role as merchantmen and have provided a flawless service,” Master Woods said.
“What has been most rewarding is promoting the Royal Australian Navy and everything it stands for as well as working with them closely in an auxiliary support role, utilising the capability of the ship and my crew. It has been a highlight of my career,” Master Woods said.
As a thirteen-year Merchant Navy member Master Woods said the execution of the working and social relationship between his crew and Navy personnel of all ranks has been well developed and something he has enjoyed.
“The willingness of the Navy to accept us and to be allowed to represent them shows the closeness of the Merchant Navy and the Royal Australian Navy, not really seen since World War II.
“I have co-ordinated with Navy personnel to demonstrate the capability of both the vessel and crew. It was great to see initial discussions regarding activities at the low level come to fruition and be executed professionally by all concerned,” Master Woods said.
Ocean Shield remains alongside at Fleet Base West following conclusion of their support to Operation SOUTHERN INDIAN OCEAN.