Range handover meets target

This article has photo gallery Published on Department of Defence (author), LSIS Justin Brown (photographer)

Location(s): Beecroft Weapons Range Visitor Centre

Topic(s): Training, Weapons and Decoys, Events, Training Authority - Maritime Warfare

Beecroft Weapons Range staff during a transfer of command ceremony at the Beecroft Weapons Range visitor centre. (photo: LSIS Justin Brown)
Beecroft Weapons Range staff during a transfer of command ceremony at the Beecroft Weapons Range visitor centre.

Management of the Beecroft Weapons Range, on the northern shore of Jervis Bay, south of Sydney, has been transferred from Navy to the Defence Estate and Infrastructure Group.
 
The transfer, formalised in April to the Directorate of Operations and Training Area Management, is in line with the findings from the 2009 Defence Strategic Training Areas and Ranges Review which recommended the management of all ranges and training areas be effected through a single group, in order to align with other estate management principles as they relate to capability support.
 
To mark the occasion, a handover ceremony from Navy, represented by Commanding Officer HMAS Creswell Captain Charles Huxtable to the Director of Directorate of Operations and Training Area Management Colonel David Graham, was held in the range control and visitors centre at the range.
 
Captain Huxtable said the management overheads of operating an ‘orphan’ range were now removed from Navy but that Beecroft would continue to support operational capability.
 
“The principal function of Beecroft is to facilitate naval gunfire support firings for fleet units operating in the East Australia Exercise Area,” he said.
 
“The transfer of Beecroft is a positive step in achieving a sustainable management outcome which will enable Beecroft to deliver Navy and the wider Australian Defence Force capability more efficiently and effectively,” Captain Huxtable said.
 
Colonel Graham said the changes would deliver effective and efficient range operation by an organisation within Defence with the sole purpose of managing training areas and ranges to support Defence capability needs.
 
The change of management marks an important milestone in the history of Beecroft.
 
Although a detailed history has not been documented, Beecroft was established as a bombardment range in 1898 to support fleet units of the Royal Navy Australian Station.
 
“As Navy redevelops its amphibious capability and confirms its amphibious readiness, Beecroft will again become a crucial element in the amphibious training continuum,” Captain Huxtable said.
 
“Beecroft’s history is a proud one and its future as an effective training area and weapons range for Navy and across Defence remains as important today as it was in 1898, and further validates the motto, Aim True.”