Despite the inauspicious date, HMAS Success left Fleet Base East on Friday the 13th of June with a real buzz of excitement in the air. An overseas deployment to RIMPAC (Exercise Rim of the Pacific) in Hawaii is always much anticipated by the Ship’s Company, but on this occasion Success was departing for her first overseas deployment since 2010 - a major milestone.
Commander Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Stuart Mayer, Commander Surface Forces, Commodore Jonathan Mead, and Director General Maritime Operations, Commodore Braddon Wheeler, were on the wharf to farewell the ship, signifying the importance of this day.
There will be 24 countries involved in RIMPAC and Success, along with HMAS Sheean, will represent the Royal Australian Navy. During the transit, Success will operate with the New Zealand Navy ship HMNZS Canterbury to maintain core skills and interoperability.
There is a jam packed schedule both at sea and in harbour that will keep the Ship’s Company busy. Success will be focussed on her main role of replenishing foreign warships throughout the exercise and this will be an excellent opportunity to further embed the crew’s replenishment qualifications in a busy environment. The sea phase includes participation in aviation, boarding and seamanship exercises and culminates in a war game for all participants.
“RIMPAC is one of the largest international exercises the Royal Australian Navy is involved in and provides an excellent environment for Success to demonstrate her capability and further develop our core skills,” Success’s Commanding Officer, Captain Allison Norris, said.
Success will host the Australian Reception onboard, an opportunity to showcase Australian food and our warm hospitality to over 400 guests. The Ship’s Company look forward to the interaction with other visiting nations during official functions but, particularly on the sporting field. Success will be represented in multiple sports including volleyball, basketball, soccer, tennis, swimming, sailing and many more.
“The opportunity to take part in joint exercises with so many nations is terribly exciting. We are looking forward to participating in a simulated mass casualty event involving 70-90 people,” Lieutenant Michael Bonning, Success’s Medical Officer, said.
RIMPAC 2014 will be the ideal preparation for Success’s busy program for the remainder of 2014 and 2015.
Imagery is available on the Navy Image Library at http://images.navy.gov.au/S20141717.