Submarines play a vital role in national security

Published on LCDR Helen Ward (author), LSIS Richard Cordell (photographer)

Location(s): Fleet Base West, WA

Topic(s): HMAS Sheean (S77)

Commanding Officer HMAS Sheean, Commander Darren White, RAN, meets with Deputy Secretary National Security, Ms Caroline Millar, and VIPs for a tour of HMAS Sheean while the Collins Class Submarine is alongside Fleet Base West. (photo: LSIS Richard Cordell)
Commanding Officer HMAS Sheean, Commander Darren White, RAN, meets with Deputy Secretary National Security, Ms Caroline Millar, and VIPs for a tour of HMAS Sheean while the Collins Class Submarine is alongside Fleet Base West.

The Deputy Secretary National Security, Ms Caroline Millar recently visited HMAS Sheean at Fleet Base West to see first-hand the vital capabilities submarines provide to secure the nation.

After an initial briefing by Deputy Commander Submarine Force, Commander Chris Forward, Ms Millar was provided a tour onboard HMAS Sheean where the Deputy Secretary was welcomed aboard by Commanding Officer HMAS Sheean, Commander Darren White.

Ms Millar was keen to know what activities the submarine had undertaken during the year and what was planned for the future.

Commander White said, “We have been away for 125 days so far in 2019, mainly deployed in South East Asia.

“We will complete several more activities, including a fleet exercise before heading into a deep maintenance period next year.

“I have one of the best crews in the fleet, they are like family and we have look out for each other. All I require from them is that they are the best submariners they can be.”

Joining Ms Millar for the tour were Mr Tony Dalton, Deputy Secretary National Naval Ship Building, Mr Timothy Rutherford, Director of Strategy and Intelligence, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and Mr Tristram Boveington, Policy Advisor, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. 

Leading Seaman Electrical Technician Casey Murphy commenced the tour in the control room, explaining how the submarine is controlled, the navigation table and how the periscopes operate.

Leading Seaman Electronics Technician Submarines Casey Murphy talks with (L-R) Deputy Secretary National Naval Shipbuilding, Mr Tony Dalton, Director Strategy and Intelligence Prime Minister and Cabinet, Mr Timothy Rutherford and Deputy Secretary National Security, Ms Caroline Millar, in the control room on board HMAS Sheean at Fleet Base West.

Leading Seaman Electronics Technician Submarines Casey Murphy talks with (L-R) Deputy Secretary National Naval Shipbuilding, Mr Tony Dalton, Director Strategy and Intelligence Prime Minister and Cabinet, Mr Timothy Rutherford and Deputy Secretary National Security, Ms Caroline Millar, in the control room on board HMAS Sheean at Fleet Base West.

Ms Millar was surprised by the clarity of view through the attack periscope and was very keen to know more about the navigation maps and intelligence provided by other departments.

The tour continued through the weapons stowage area, where there were many questions about the torpedo capability, followed by the galley, accommodation areas and concluded in the engine room.

Ms Millar and the group had some further questions about crew numbers, shift work, logistics of meals as well as maintaining training standards.

“I am extremely impressed with the capabilities provided by our submarines, and have a deep respect for the submariners working in this environment,” Ms Millar said.

Imagery is available on the Navy Image Library at: https://images.navy.gov.au/S20192462.