Sirius gets 2015 underway

Published on LEUT Mark Taylor (author), LEUT Jake Leonard (author)

HMAS Sirius's damage control team, conduct fire fighting training at sea, in the West Australian Exercise Area (photo: LEUT Leonard)
HMAS Sirius's damage control team, conduct fire fighting training at sea, in the West Australian Exercise Area

HMAS Sirius is preparing for another busy year replenishing the Navy's fleet.

After some much needed respite and family time over Christmas the crew commenced a dedicated training period alongside before proceeding to sea to conduct further training in preparation. 

With a heavy focus on training, the ship's technical department used the opportunity to provide Sirius-specific courses. A number of specialised instructors came onboard to provide the training in a combination of classroom style instruction and hands on training. 

For many, the new year means a new posting. Personnel new to Sirius are presented with yellow arm bands to identify them as not yet familiar with the ship and systems. An induction program designed to ensure that personnel are educated, competent and confident in the damage control and safety systems and processes specific to Sirius is conducted on joining. 

A recent inductee Seaman Boatswains Mate Stephanie Hourigan said the structured program gave her the confidence boost she needed on joining the ship.

“It's daunting joining a new ship but now I have the necessary skills and knowledge to be an effective member of the team," she said.

With the ship back at sea it was the perfect time to practice the basic mariner skills that ensure the ship is safe and capable to perform operationally when required. Throughout the week the crew conducted a 50 calibre machine gun firing, damage control exercises and replenishment at sea training. 

HMAS Sirius Boatswains Mates, conduct a .50 Calibre Machine Gun firing in the West Australian Exercise Area.

HMAS Sirius Boatswains Mates, conduct a .50 Calibre Machine Gun firing in the West Australian Exercise Area.

Leading Seaman Maritime Logistics - Chef Emily Nash said it was exciting to be back at sea and get back into routine. 

"The training we conducted at the fire ground prior to going to sea really helped, it is always good to get back to basics," she said.

Sirius will participate in Exercise TALISMAN SABRE later this year and conduct a south east Asian deployment. 

“I am really looking forward to the upcoming trip to Northern Australia and the opportunity to see different scenery. In particular I am looking forward to Port Headland as the Navy does not often visit there," Leading Seaman Nash said.

HMAS Sirius was built as a double-hulled commercial product tanker, MV Delos and purchased by the Commonwealth Government on 3 June 2004. Named Sirius, the ship underwent modification for underway replenishment. In addition, a flight deck was fitted for helicopter operations.

The ship can carry over 34,806 cz (cubic metres) of fuel including 5,486 cz (cubic metres) of aviation fuel for use by RAN helicopters. Sirius can replenish ships at sea by day and night, and is capable of replenishing two ships at a time. She has transfer points for fuel, water and stores.

Sirius is the first RAN ship to carry this name, however HMS Sirius (I) was commissioned into the Royal Navy in 1780 as the flagship of the 'First Fleet'. The name was selected because of its historical connections with the First Fleet and the import role the ship played in providing logistic support to the struggling economy. Her motto is "to serve and provide".