It was with a sense of pride and achievement that HMAS Stuart (CMDR Jason Hunter, RAN), longing for home, entered Sydney in procedure Alpha after having been away for two years in extended readiness. The ship was in the west under the watchful eye and care of the FFH Ship Support Team. After a demanding ‘Hull Swap’ she is once again Always Prepared’ for every challenge.
It was with excitement and anticipation that HMAS Anzac sailed to the west on the 15 April 2013 in order to affect the hull swap with Stuart. Once in the west the crew worked hard and over came many challenges, taking action and delivering their best in order for their new ship to proudly join the Fleet once more.
It was with a touch of sadness that on the 10 May 2013 Anzac’s crew removed their ball caps and patches and remembered fondly their time in Anzac. After hearing the histories of Stuart’s past, the crew donned their new caps and patches, embracing the proud traditions of HMAS Stuart, transforming into ‘Tartan Terrors'.
Commanding Officer Jason Hunter said he was proud of his crews ability to make the seemingly impossible possible.
“Each and every department on board, worked tirelessly to ready Stuart for sea after her many months alongside. The crew continues to ensure that the ship remains on her way to achieving Unit Readiness and once again operational availability,” said Commander Hunter.
Reflecting on the past three months Sub Lieutenant Geordie Grant said the experience was worthwhile.
“The hull swap was a steep learning curve and tough time. We put in lots of hard work, but I’m glad to have been a part of it,” said Sub-Lieutenant Grant.
HMAS Stirling (CAPT Angela Bond, RAN) provided great facilities and support, not only with the work but with the down times as well. The crew were able to enjoy sport, great meals and a transport routine that allowed for some adventures ashore, leisure activities and team building.
“Being in the west was great, but it’s even better to be in Sydney amongst my family and friends,” said Chief Petty Officer Daniel Kilkolly, who was met on the wharf by his family.
Imagery is available on the Royal Australian Navy Media Library at http://images.navy.gov.au/S20130013.