Adelaide turned on a warm welcome when HMAS Newcastle visited the City of Churches for South Australia Navy Week recently. The visit was the first by a Navy warship in two years and marked the final port visit for Newcastle before the frigate headed home to Fleet Base East, Sydney, concluding a three month trip around Australia.
A chance to tour the Adelaide class frigate was just one of the highlights of a week long programme that not only enabled Navy to promote its equipment, personnel and capabilities but was also a ‘thank you” from Navy to the wider South Australian community and local Defence industries for their ongoing support.
Commanding Officer Navy Headquarters - South Australia, Commander Alan Williams, said Navy Week helped to strengthen the bond that Australians have with Navy and the Australian Defence Force overall.
“Whether we are at sea on operations or offer humanitarian assistance to a regional neighbour, the support from families, friends and the public helps us do our jobs and do them successfully. Navy Week was a fantastic opportunity for us to give the public of South Australia the chance to see and better understand our role in service to our country,” he said.
The week-long celebrations began with the raising of the Australian White Ensign on Port Road, Hindmarsh, the tallest flag pole in Adelaide.
Personnel from Navy Headquarters - South Australia, the Air Warfare Centre, Joint Electronic Warfare Support Unit and 723 Squadron conducted visits to Brighton Secondary School, Le Fevre High School and Prince Alfred College. Sailors from Newcastle also joined their colleagues to help out at the Hutt Street Homeless Centre serving lunch and later repainting an office and work area.
Other highlights included performances by the South Australian Detachment of the Royal Australian Navy Band a visit to the historic maritime town of Victor Harbor and an Open Day at the Port Adelaide Markets showcasing Navy’s AS350BA Squirrel and Bell 429 helicopters from 723 Squadron, a dedicated Navy Week church service at the historic Christ Church in North Adelaide and a friendly game of rugby between HMAS Newcastle and the Port Adelaide Rugby Union Football Club.
Imagery is available on the Navy Image Library at http://images.navy.gov.au/S20143249.