Yesterday marked 114 years of the Australian Navy serving the nation with pride but it was no different to every other day of the year for Navy members deployed across the globe on operations.
The Commonwealth Naval Forces were established on 1 March 1901, two months after federation, when the navies of the colonies were brought together. Bestowed with the title of 'royal' in 1911, the service has been essential to protecting our island nation's sea lanes and maritime trade ever since.
The crew of HMAS Success celebrated the milestone while on watch, deployed in the Middle East Region as part of Operation MANITOU, deployed as the Australian Government's contribution to maritime security, counter-piracy and counter-terrorism in the region.
The youngest member of ship’s company, Able Seaman Boatswains Mate Melissa Sirett, who is 19 years of age, joined the Commanding Officer, Captain Justin Jones, to cut a magnificent cake created by the onboard chefs for morning tea. The cake was distributed around the ship so that other members of the crew who were on watch received a celebratory slice of birthday action.
Captain Shane Glassock, one of Navy's team in Joint Task Force 636 in Kabul, Afghanistan, said the landlocked mariners did not miss the opportunity to capture the moment.
"Amongst the 'sea of green' here, we have not forgotten that we are still serving in the Royal Australian Navy," he said.
They took the opportunity to conduct a traditional Colours ceremony at Headquarters Resolute Support, with the Australian White Ensign proudly flying for the day.
Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Tim Barrett hosted a reception in Canberra to mark the date with Midshipmen from the Australian Defence Force Academy and naval personnel from the region.
Vice Admiral Barrett reflected on Navy's operational history in the century since the First World War began.
"The number of commemorations has underlined for me how essential Navy was to keeping Australia’s trade routes open and protecting the convoys. Keeping the global maritime commons free for all to use lawfully is still our core business," he said.
"More recent achievements have been the introduction of the Landing Helicopter Dock and the Seahawk Romeo, all while we maintain an operational focus on border protection and training for future tasking."
Whilst some had the opportunity to sample some well earned cake, most Navy personnel spent the day deployed on operations or continued to exercise and train domestically.