Adventure and fun are cornerstones of the Australian Navy Cadets (ANC), so it was fitting that 45 members and seven staff from the ANC’s Training Ship Norfolk recently visited Cairns and the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) Landing Craft Heavy HMAS Brunei.
Sponsored by the RAN, the ANC is a leading provider of youth development experiences that challenges Navy Cadets to develop their leadership potential, reflecting the RAN’s values of honour, honesty, courage, integrity and loyalty.
Serving Redlands City area and Brisbane’s eastern suburbs, Training Ship Norfolk is Brunei’s twinned Cadet Unit. TS Norfolk last visited Brunei three years ago, so a number of the cadets present were making a return visit.
During this visit, Brunei’s ship’s company demonstrated various aspects of the work and life onboard a landing craft, including various damage control, engineering, navigation and amphibious operations.
Commanding Officer HMAS Brunei, Lieutenant Commander Matthew Richardson was pleased to see the interaction between the two ship’s companies.
“It was encouraging to see so many keen faces, and field so many questions about the Navy and life at sea.
“The day was a great success for the cadets, but it was also motivational for the ship’s company to share in their enthusiasm,” Lieutenant Commander Richardson said.
Lieutenant Wayne Larsen, Commanding Officer of Training Ship Norfolk was appreciative of the efforts taken by the Brunei crew, particularly as this will be the final visit by the twinned Cadet Unit prior to Brunei being decommissioned in late 2014.
“The Cadets thoroughly enjoyed the chance to talk to serving personnel, as many are looking at careers in the Navy. The information gained will assist in guiding them towards specialties in which they can best serve the Navy and their country,” he said.
Having enjoyed a twin ship status with Brunei for many years, Training Ship Norfolk’s ship’s company arranged a special cake displaying the crests of both ships which was shared along with an exchange of gifts.
“HMAS Brunei has had a twin ship status with Training Ship Norfolk for many years and the ship’s company of Brunei has always welcomed our unit with open arms.
“The cake symbolises our bond which will last beyond Brunei’s decommissioning through the memorabilia around our unit and also the memories of the Cadets,” Lieutenant Larsen said.
Commissioned in January 1973, HMAS Brunei was the second of eight Balikpapan Class Landing Craft Heavy ships built in Maryborough, Queensland, with three currently in service in the RAN, and two in the Papua New Guinea Defence Force. The three remaining RAN ships are to be decommissioned in late 2014.