HMAS Choules celebrates Australia Day

Published on LEUT Lana Emery (author), CPOCIS Simon Bagnall (photographer)

Location(s): Christmas Island

Commanding Officer HMAS Choules, Commander Chris Aulmann (left), presents the HMAS Choules Australia Day mini-olympics shield to the winning team, the Transit Security Element. (photo: CPOCIS Simon Bagnall)
Commanding Officer HMAS Choules, Commander Chris Aulmann (left), presents the HMAS Choules Australia Day mini-olympics shield to the winning team, the Transit Security Element.

HMAS Choules ship’s company have celebrated Australia Day with sport and a barbecue while deployed on Operation RESOLUTE in northern Australian waters.
 
The sporting competition was a fiercely contested inter-departmental mini-olympics, including feats of strength and agility such as the medicine ball shot put, 'King of the Ring', a variety of relay races, and a Heads of Department apple bob.
 
While the Transit Security Element detachment won the trophy, team cohesion and morale was the real prize.  
 
“The social aspect, a change in routine and being out of the workplace for a short while was well worth it,” Able Seaman Maritime Logistics - Chef Glenn Amos said.
 
Able Seaman Boatswains Mate Zuleika Harper was awarded the Australia Day Medallion for her efforts and attention to detail as the ship’s Safety Equipment Maintainer during 2013 and 2014.

Commanding Officer HMAS Choules, Commander Chris Aulmann, presents Able Seaman Boatswains Mate Zuleika Harper with an Australia Day Medallion.

Commanding Officer HMAS Choules, Commander Chris Aulmann, presents Able Seaman Boatswains Mate Zuleika Harper with an Australia Day Medallion.


A spectacular tropical sunset was the perfect backdrop for a steel deck barbecue of good Aussie staples including pies, sausages and steaks with salad for dinner followed with lamingtons and pavlova for dessert.
 
The crew enjoyed the break in routine and the chance to celebrate our national day with their shipmates.
 
“I thought that the best event of the day was a toss up between the pyramid and the 'King of the Ring' events - I thought those two were the best,” Leading Seaman Marine Technician Scott Algeo said.
 
“Head of Department Apple Bob Challenge was the funniest event to watch,” Leading Seaman James Pendergast said.

Executive Officer HMAS Choules, Lieutenant Commander Doherty, competes in the apple bob event during Australia Day celebrations.

Executive Officer HMAS Choules, Lieutenant Commander Doherty, competes in the apple bob event during Australia Day celebrations.


 

Fact Box

HMAS Choules originally served with the Royal Fleet Auxiliary as RFA Largs Bay from 2006-2011. She was commissioned by the Royal Australian Navy in December 2011.
 
Choules displaces 16,000 tonnes, is 176 metres long and capable of carrying 356 troops (700 for an overloaded capacity), 23 Abrams tanks, 150 Light Trucks, Landing Craft Vehicle and Personnel (LCVP), Landing Craft Marine Version Eight (LCM8), and various Army and Navy helicopters including the MRH90 and the Army’s Black Hawk.
 
She has several spots for aircraft to traverse and park on the deck allowing the platform to launch and recover from a single 'spot'.

 

Imagery is available on the Australian Defence Image Library at http://images.navy.gov.au/S20150123.