The crew of HMAS Sirius took some time out of the recent AUSINDEX maritime activity in India, to celebrate the ship's ninth 'birthday' since commissioning on 16 September 2006.
Built at the Hyundai Mipo Dockyard in South Korea as a commercial tanker, Sirius was purchased by the Australian government and underwent conversion in Western Australia to an underway replenishment vessel. With capacity to carry over 34,000 cubic litres of fuel, Sirius is the largest fuel replenishment vessel in the Royal Australian Navy.
Sirius’ chefs came to the party with Able Seaman Maritime Logistics - Chef Kiralee Ekin preparing a mouth-watering chocolate cake to celebrate the occasion. In keeping with tradition, the youngest member onboard, Able Seaman Boatswains Mate Stephanie Hourigan and the Commanding Officer, Commander Darren Grogan were given the task of cutting the cake. However in a break from tradition, visiting Indian Navy Liaison Officer, Lieutenant Aravirnd Bhat, was also invited to join in as a third member to assist cutting the cake. This joint effort was typical of the theme for the exercise where no matter how large or small the task, the interoperability between the Australian and Indian Navies was on show.
Lieutenant Bhat described the unexpected honour as a priviledge.
"It was something that I never expected, to be invited to take part in the ceremony - the cake was also much nicer than on my ship," Lieutenant Bhat said.
Sirius was not the only one to have a birthday during AUSINDEX. The Ship's Warrant Officer, Jodi Bonney, also chalked up another birthday at sea.
"I have had at least 12 birthdays at sea during my 30 year career but am yet to have one as close to a ship or submarine I have served on," Warrant Officer Bonney said.