Anzacs meeting 100 years on

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Des Paroz (author), LSIS Paul McCallum (photographer)

Leading Seaman Aviation Technician Avionics Bradley Morris calls in HMAS Success's  S-70B-2 Seahawk helicopter to transfer stores and victuals to HMAS Anzac while the ships transit the Gulf of Aden. (photo: LSIS Paul McCallum)
Leading Seaman Aviation Technician Avionics Bradley Morris calls in HMAS Success's S-70B-2 Seahawk helicopter to transfer stores and victuals to HMAS Anzac while the ships transit the Gulf of Aden.

In the western reaches of the Indian Ocean two Anzac class frigates, Australia’s HMAS Anzac and New Zealand’s HMNZS Te Kaha, met up with the Australian Navy’s battle tanker, HMAS Success, marking the next stage of the journey by the three ships to the Mediterranean for Centenary of Anzac commemorative events. 

Anzac and Te Kaha are representing their respective countries at Gallipoli for Anzac Day, while Success will perform representational duties at Lemnos, a key base of Australian and Commonwealth facilities throughout the Gallipoli Campaign of 1915—16. 

After meeting, Success performed its core role of being a ‘force multiplier’, providing fuel and provisions to Anzac and Te Kaha at sea, allowing the two ships to continue their missions without logistics stops before reaching the Mediterranean later this month. 

Success’ Commanding Officer, Captain Justin Jones, shared the enthusiasm of his crew to be able to work with Australian and New Zealand ships after several months of deployment in the Middle East. 

“My crew has been working hard as part of Operation MANITOU since late 2014, during which time we’ve had the opportunity to work with ships from the navies of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Turkey and the United States. 

“This is the first time in many months we’ve been able to work with another Australian ship, and our New Zealand cousins. 

“One hundred years on the Anzac forces are still working together to demonstrate their presence half a world away from their home countries. 

“Having performed our role here in the Middle East, the ship’s company are now excited to be heading to Lemnos where we will be representing the Australian Navy at the Centenary of Anzac commemorations,” Captain Jones said. 

In addition to the fuel provided to the Anzac frigates, Success supplied Anzac with some 15 pallets of fresh fruit, vegetables, provisions and stores, slung underneath Success’ embarked S-70-B Seahawk helicopter. 

Anzac’s Store Accounting Officer, Petty Officer Varun Sharma, described the organisation required to ensure that the goods received were quickly processed and received. 

“The stores we received allow Anzac to remain at sea and still provide quality fresh food to its crew. 

“More than 70 members of the crew were focused on the job of unloading, unpacking, sorting and storing these stores in quick time, preparing the empty pallets to be carried back to Success

“Having more recently come from Australia, Anzac also had several loads of goods and supplies to carry over to Success, so the helicopter worked hard moving almost 25 loads between the two ships as they continued on their journey,” Petty Officer Sharma said. 

One of the important pieces of cargo moved carefully from Anzac to Success was a reproduction of the 1924 painting by Sir William Russell Flint, held by the Art Gallery of NSW Collection, called ‘The Lemnians’. 

Lieutenant Commander Amanda Frape, Anzac’s Maritime Logistics Officer, shared the relief of many of Anzac’s crew to see the painting safely delivered for the next leg of its journey to Lemnos. 

“’The Lemnians’ reproduction is being gifted from the Lemnian Community in Sydney to the people of their ancestral homeland of Lemnos, a key Australian and Commonwealth staging and evacuation location during the Gallipoli Campaign. 

“The Royal Australian Navy was entrusted with carrying the painting to Lemnos where it will be presented to the local community. 

Anzac took carriage of the painting at a function in Sydney in March, and Success will take the painting home. 

“Flying the painting underneath a helicopter between two ships at sea was a nerve wracking few moments, and to know we’ve brought the painting safely this far provided a sense of relief to our Commanding Officer and her crew,” Lieutenant Commander Frape said. 

HMAS Anzac is currently deployed on NORTHERN TRIDENT 2015 during which it will participate in the Centenary of Anzac commemorations in April, followed by a series of important international engagements.