HMAS Melbourne ship's motto, 'vires aquirit eundo', translates as 'she gathers strength as she goes'. Commissioned on 15 February 1992, she is one of the Royal Australian Navy's four Adelaide class guided missile frigates and constantly continues to impress.
On 10 November, Melbourne commenced her Mariner Skills Evaluation. This was an essential point in the preparation for her, post refit, and the culmination of the hard pre-work up training the ship's company had conducted.
Later on in the week HMAS Melbourne’s Seahawk detachment took to the sky and conducted a successful Aviation Sea Safety Assessment allowing ship-helicopter operations to be conducted and work ups to continue into more complex evolutions.
Maritime Logistics Officer, Lieutenant Commander Julian Brett explained the assessment look at Melbourne’s operational teamwork from the bridge and operations team, to the Flight Deck Team and Marine Technician sailors ensuring the refuelling system was aligned and primed.
"Flight deck operations are Navy team work at its best. The assessment is the first opportunity in the early phases of the operating cycle for a ship to work as an integrated team drawing on personnel from all departments of Melbourne," he said.
One of the more intense flying evolutions is the helicopter in-flight refuelling which involves the transfer of a fuel hose from the flight deck to the in-flight Seahawk for the purpose of refuelling the helicopter while it remains flying. The Aviation Sea Safety Assessment provided valuable experience to the entire ship's company and was another important building block in Melbourne’s work up program.
"Melbourne's flight deck team performed admirably during the ASSA and executed one of the more difficult evolutions, that being the HIFR, with true professionalism," Lieutenant Commander Brett said.
The ship is a long-range escort capable of area air defence, surface and undersea warfare, surveillance, reconnaissance and interdiction. The ship can counter simultaneous threats from aircraft, surface vessels and submarines.