HMAS Melbourne has been awarded Navy’s prestigious Gloucester Cup by the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd) at Garden Island in Sydney.
The Gloucester Cup was instituted in 1946 by then Governor-General, His Royal Highness the Duke of Gloucester, to recognise the most exceptional contribution to the Royal Australian Navy each year by a unit deemed to have displayed the highest level of overall proficiency.
The current Governor-General said Melbourne had demonstrated outstanding operational efficiency, seamanship, supply and administration, officer and sailor training, divisional systems, morale, equipment reliability, maintenance and resourcefulness throughout 2018.
“As one of my final acts in office and my last visit to a warship, I am proud to award the Gloucester Cup to HMAS Melbourne,” His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove said.
In receiving the award on behalf of the Ship’s Company, Commanding Officer HMAS Melbourne Commander Marcus Buttler thanked the crew and paid tribute to their hard work and dedication during a busy year.
“This is a great achievement for every member of HMAS Melbourne. They are a terrific and thoroughly deserving group of people, and this is bittersweet in our ship’s last year of service,” Commander Butler said.
During 2018, Melbourne participated in a large number of international exercises and operations including OCEAN EXPLORER, INDO-PACIFIC ENDEAVOUR, RIMPAC, KAKADU and a North East Asian deployment.
“During our many months away last year supporting these military engagements, our ship contributed greatly to Navy’s regional cooperation program, and enhanced interoperability with our allies,” Commander Buttler said.
According to Deputy Fleet Commander Commodore Robert Plath, the presentation coinciding with International Women’s Day was also an excellent opportunity to reflect on the importance of workforce diversity and teamwork.
“Melbourne has clearly demonstrated how ships can ‘gather strength’ through a ‘stronger together’ approach, and I would like to congratulate the ship in setting a new capability standard for the rest of the fleet to follow,” Commodore Plath said.
After 27 years of faithful service to Australia, having earned Battle Honours for service in East Timor, the Persian Gulf and the Middle East, HMAS Melbourne will be decommissioned in late 2019.