A team of 16 people from NUSHIP Canberra augmented the Australia's Federation Guard (AFG) for two high profile activities last month. The team joined AFG personnel to form a Royal Guard for the opening of the Royal Queensland Show (colloquially known as the Ekka) and also supported the Navy element of the AFG in activities at Defence Headquarters in Canberra.
The Canberra team were given short notice to practice the drill, dress and bearing required for a Royal Guard. It is only on rare occasions that members of a fleet unit would perform drill with Self Loading Rifle (SLR) and bayonet fixed in full ceremonial uniform.
ABCSO Chris Carrick said it was a great experience.
“I really enjoyed being part of the Australia's Federation Guard - I would certainly consider it as a future posting.
“For the first event in Canberra for Chief of Navy, we were required to do Navy drill, but then the next event three days later we needed to learn Army drill for the Royal Guard – it felt really strange lifting your knee up as part of drill”.
“It was hard to learn at short notice, but definitely something I liked doing,” said Able Seaman Carrick.
Chief Petty Officer Tye Goodman from the Australia's Federation Guard said the Canberra personnel did exceptionally well.
“NUSHIP Canberra helped us out at short notice and contributed 16 people towards a Navy Half Guard in Canberra and a Royal Guard in Brisbane, all in the same week.
“It was a full on week for them as they only had two days to learn Army drill which is very different from Navy drill and they also had to learn drill with a self loading rifle (SLR).
“Full time members of the Guard get two weeks induction to achieve the required standard, so for Canberra personnel to achieve a standard where they could represent the Guard at the highest level in such a short period of time was excellent,” he said.