On 11 December the ships company of HMAS Newcastle celebrated a major milestone - the ship's 21st birthday.
Newcastle is the youngest of the Adelaide class frigates currently serving in the Royal Australian Navy and one of the four of the original six remaining in service. The birthday celebration came at a busy time for the ship which returned from a circumnavigation of Australia in early November. On return to Fleet Base East, the ship immediately proceeded into a significant maintenance period in preparation for the ships deployment to Operation MANTIOU in early 2015.
The birthday was marked by an onboard celebration in the Junior Sailors' Café. The Commanding Officer, Commander Dominic MacNamara addressed the gathering and congratulated all personnel on a successful yet busy year as well as reflecting on the life of the ship. This day also marked Commander MacNamaras one year anniversary in command of Newcastle.
Traditionally, as the youngest member of ships company, Seaman Combat Systems Operator Regan Burns received the privilege of cutting the ships birthday cake alongside the Commanding Officer. The cake was then shared amongst the members of the crew and was very much enjoyed by all. The gathering also provided the opportunity for some of those new to the ship to get to know their new crew.
Executive Officer, Lieutenant Commander Anita Nemarich, reflected on the feelings of those in the crew.
"Celebrating this milestone is a fitting way to end what has been a very positive year for Newcastle and 21 successful years for the ship," she said.
The future is bright for Newcastle as her crew looks towards a challenging 2015 and another successful year in the life of the warship.