The gates were opened to Fleet Base West on 25 January, when HMAS Stirling hosted a Families Day for its 3000 Defence and Australian Public Service personnel on Garden Island, Rockingham.
Stirling bi-annually provides opportunities for members to showcase their workplaces to their loved ones while acknowledging them for their invaluable support throughout the year.
Commanding Officer HMAS Stirling Captain Brian Delamont, said Stirling supported Fleet Operations, but security and safety restrictions across the logistics, operations and engineering work centres normally make it difficult to host visitors.
“The Families Day allows access to many of the 70 organisations at HMAS Stirling for Navy personnel to show their families what they do and share their pride in what is being achieved,” Captain Delamont said.
“We couldn’t have asked for a better day, the weather was perfect, we had a wide range of fun family activities, the interactive displays at the Off-Watch Centre were a hit, and there were so many smiles on so many faces,” he said.
The Stirling Off-Watch Centre was a hub of activity, with displays in a central meeting point, and the designated lunch area for the families.
Seaman Communication and Information Systems Chris Rafferty was very thankful for the opportunity.
“It was wonderful to show my family the things I have achieved so far in my Submariner Training, thanks to their support,” he said.
Some of the units open on the day were frigate HMAS Ballarat, Australian Clearance Diving Team Four, Fleet Support Unit - West, RAN School of Ship Survivability - West, and Joint Logistics Unit - West.
Jessica Best, husband of Leading Seaman Maritime Logistics - Chef Peter Best, was shown around the base, and acquainted with her husband’s work environment.
“I got to see what my husband does and where he works,” said Jessica.
Six-year old Ella Cordell thought the day was fun and exciting.
“I really enjoyed the lolly competition and games at the Off-Watch Centre,” she said.