The vessels and teams of Navy’s Mine Warfare, Clearance Diving, Hydrographic, Meteorological, Oceanographic and Patrol Force might be among the smallest in the Fleet, but their achievements in 2019 rival those of the largest major surface ships.
Australia’s newest warship, HMAS Brisbane, arrived home to family and friends in Sydney yesterday, following her first overseas deployment, drawing to a close the return of ten Royal Australian Navy warships from deployments across South East Asia, the Pacific and the United States.
For Commodore Ivan Ingham, success in 2019 may be measured by how empty the berths at Fleet Base East have been - the year has seen an exceptional surge in Australian maritime operations across the Indo-Pacific region.
It has been a busy year for the Navy operated Sail Training Ship Young Endeavour - a whopping 377 young Australians aged 16-23 stepped aboard for one of 15 eleven-day voyages that saw the brigantine sail from Hobart and as far north as Cairns.
As Navy’s Fleet and war-fighting capabilities continue to grow with significant investments, 2019 has also been an important year to sustain that capability with improvements to its facilities on shore.
Two Royal Australian Navy Minehunters, HMAS Ships Diamantina and Gascoyne, have returned home just in time for Christmas, following a successful overseas deployment that saw them travel a record distance.
Seven sailors have graduated from Clearance Diving Course 87 at the Australian Defence Force Diving School at HMAS Penguin, one of the toughest courses Navy has to offer.
HMAS Cerberus has been named the recipient of the Governor’s Cup for 2019, an award presented to the Royal Australian Navy Shore Establishment that has excelled in all aspects of operations, safety, training and support to the Fleet.
As a milestone year for the Royal Australian Navy’s evolution towards concurrent task group operations draws to a close, the ‘con’ of Navy’s Maritime Operations organisation has transitioned from Commodore Matt Buckley to Commodore Darren Grogan.
In an era when Navy is prioritising its people, the officers and sailors of HMA Ships Diamantina and Gascoyne can attest that the tide is turning in the right direction as a number of initiatives were implemented for their recent Maritime East Asia Deployment.