The first bond between the new HMAS Hobart and her namesake city have been forged during a Freedom of Entry march.
More than 180 officers and sailors marched from Princes Wharf to the Hobart Town Hall, answering the Tasmanian Police Commissioner’s ceremonial challenge at the corner of Elizabeth and Macquarie Streets.
Exercising Freedom of Entry is a long-standing tradition for naval vessels wishing to proudly enter a city with swords drawn, colours flying and drums beating.
Hobart’s Commanding Officer, Captain John Stavridis, said the ceremonial entry was the second of his career but was particularly poignant given the strong ties the previous two HMA Ships Hobart had built with their namesake city.
“Sailing into Hobart has always felt like coming home for many ships, but to arrive in the first Hobart in 18 years and take the first big step in building a relationship with the community is indeed an honour.
“We hope to return regularly over the decades of HMAS Hobart’s service life, and we are eager to start sharing the beauty of the city of Hobart as we venture into the world.
“It’s an immense privilege as the ship’s commanding officer and I hope the community is as proud of this outstanding ship as we are to be associated with their city.”
HMAS Hobart’s ship’s company were joined by the Royal Australian Navy band and greeted by Commander Surface Force, Commodore Chris Smith and Hobart’s Acting Lord Mayor, Ron Christie.
Acting Lord Mayor Christie said it was a pleasure to welcome Australia’s newest warship.
“While HMAS Hobart the third was only commissioned in September last year, ships bearing the name of HMAS Hobart have a proud lineage that can be traced back to 1938 when the first HMAS Hobart was purchased from Britain on behalf the Australian Government”, he said.
“As a city we are extremely proud to have HMAS Hobart in our city this weekend and we thank you for a very impressive display today.”
“You make the city of Hobart and the State of Tasmania very proud.”
HMAS Hobart is the first of three new guided missile destroyers for the Royal Australian Navy and the third ship to carry the name.
The ship will spend significant time at sea this year as she finishes trials in the United States and becomes ready to deploy.