Moreton returns with a busy year

Published on LEUT Nick Robinson (author), CPL Ben Dempster (author)

Location(s): Brisbane, Queensland

Topic(s): HMAS Moreton

Mr Greg Turner (centre), representing Maritime Safety Queensland and his employer Navy officer Lieutenant Rick Christensen (right), accepts the South Queensland Employer Support Award for Medium Business Category from Commander Mark McConnell, Commanding Officer HMAS Moreton.  (photo: CPL Ben Dempster)
Mr Greg Turner (centre), representing Maritime Safety Queensland and his employer Navy officer Lieutenant Rick Christensen (right), accepts the South Queensland Employer Support Award for Medium Business Category from Commander Mark McConnell, Commanding Officer HMAS Moreton.

Since the commissioning of HMAS Moreton in May 2016, it’s been all hands on deck at the Navy’s newest shore establishment.

Although the number of personnel in South Queensland may be small, Moreton has supported approximately 50 ceremonial events, 20 ship visits and 20 major community engagement events.

This year Brisbane hosted numerous warships from China, Singapore, Indonesia, France, Canada and the United States of America as well as the Royal Australian Navy.

Moreton 
conducts liaison for these visits to ensure berthing, fuelling, storing and transportation requirements for the ships are met.

The City of Brisbane has become a popular port of call for warships in the region and it is expected that Moreton will be kept busy supporting such visits, well into the future.

The people of Brisbane look to the future with excitement as the second of Hobart class destroyers is to be named after the city.

This is seen as a proper tribute to Brisbane’s continued support of the Navy and the community’s pride in the senior service.

Commanding Officer Moreton, Commander Mark McConnell, took on the role on 17 June and has led the way in building the success of Moreton.

“In fostering a sense of pride, Moreton personnel have been actively engaged in community events throughout the year, including White Ribbon activities, Navy Week South Queensland, Legacy Week, support to Australian Navy Cadet activities and events in regional areas.

“These events allow members of the public to gain an understanding of our role, to see the men and women who make up our Navy and to strengthen our links with the community,” Commander McConnell said.

The important role that Moreton will play supporting amphibious operations in the future was highlighted this year by the visits of HMA Ships Canberra and Adelaide.

"Canberra
 loaded humanitarian assistance stores, equipment and Army personnel prior to deploying on Operation FIJI ASSIST and Adelaide loaded equipment and personnel for Exercise HAMEL, Army’s annual war-fighting exercise."

“Future visits to Brisbane will present further possibilities for the development of the amphibious capability,” Commander McConnell said.

Even though the former Bulimba Barracks is in a state of transition, the site continues to be used by other elements to practice their niche capabilities.

In November elements of the 2nd Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment, made use of Moreton facilities to conduct amphibious training in the Moreton Bay area.

Additionally, the site is regularly used by the Australian Federal Police to conduct training while remaining close to the city.

Over the next year construction will commence on new accommodation and multi-user facilities which will allow Moreton to continue to support a working navy as well as other services.

Commander McConnell also has a considerable Navy Reserve cohort in Southern Queensland and relies heavily on the support of employers in the region to deliver Navy priorities.

Maritime Safety Queensland received the South Queensland Employer Support Award in 2016 for Medium Business Category, for their continued support of Defence Reservists such as Navy officer Lieutenant Rick Christensen.