Last week, the ship’s company of HMAS Choules held a clear lower deck to witness the award of the Spada Shield, which is awarded to the Royal Australian Navy Surface Force unit that has excelled in all aspects of operations, safety, reliability, warfare and unit level training, and the Pakistan Shield (Major), which is awarded to the Major Fleet unit with a crew size over 100 that has achieved the highest standard of sporting performance.
The Spada Shield was jointly awarded by the Commander Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Tim Barrett, and the Commander Australian Surface Forces, Commodore Jonathan Mead, to the Commanding Officer of HMAS Choules, Commander Ashley Papp.
Commander Papp said it was a great honour for the crew of HMAS Choules to receive the awards.
“2013 was a very challenging year where Choules overcame significant technical issues to fix main propulsion problems, then conducted workups and major amphibious exercises before being re-tasked to Operation LANDSCAPE in July,” he said.
“The ship has come a long way in a short period to achieve Mission Ready status and has demonstrated the abundant flexibility that the LSD (Landing Ship Dock) brings to the Australian Defence Force’s Capability,” Commander Papp said.
The Pakistan Shield was presented by RADM Barrett to Petty Officer Physical Training Instructor Rhod Hunter, who was instrumental in ensuring the crew maintained high levels of fitness while deployed for seven months, and showed great dedication towards organising sporting events between the crew of Choules and local Papua New Guinea sporting teams while the ship was deployed to Manus Island for Operation LANDSCAPE.