Forces Unite in HMAS Adelaide

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Des Paroz (author), LSIS James Whittle (author)

Location(s): Brisbane, QLD

A Lone United States Marine from the Marine Rotational Force - Darwin stands at the the bottom of the gangway of HMAS Adelaide before embarkation.  (photo: LSIS James Whittle)
A Lone United States Marine from the Marine Rotational Force - Darwin stands at the the bottom of the gangway of HMAS Adelaide before embarkation.

Over 600 personnel from four military services have joined the Royal Australian Navy’s amphibious ship, HMAS Adelaide for a transit from Brisbane to Adelaide in preparation for Exercise HAMEL 2016.

The embarked forces are comprised of personnel from the Australian Army, the US Army and US Marines from the Marine Rotational Force – Darwin. 

The Australian Landing Helicopter Dock or LHD's Commanding Officer, Captain Paul Mandziy, welcomed the forces for the transit.

“As the newest ships in the Australian Navy, we provide sophisticated capabilities across a wide range of potential military and humanitarian missions,” Captain Mandziy said.

Canberra has already proven the versatility in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations following Tropical Cyclone Winston in Fiji, and the current Exercise HAMEL sealift task will further strengthen our strategic lift capability in transporting troops wherever they are required to support operations.

“Australia and the United States have a long history of working together in peace and war since the Second World War, and together are committed to security and stability in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond.

“We welcome the Australian and United States forces who have joined Adelaide and hope that the opportunity to work, train and live in close proximity for the transit will further strengthen the interoperability between the nations.”

United States Marine Captain Christopher Brock is the Commanding Officer of A Company of the Marine Rotational Force – Darwin, which accounted for 180 of the embarked forces.

“This year represents the fifth annual rotation of the Marine Rotational Force - Darwin, and with 1,250 Marines in Australia for the six month Darwin ‘dry season’ it is the largest rotation to date,” Captain Brock said.

“In previous years the engagement has been predominately with the Australian Army, and this embarkation in Adelaide is the first time Marine Rotational Force - Darwin, have embarked in an Australian Navy ship.
“Many of our Marines have previously embarked in US Navy LHDs, so it is interesting to note the similarities and differences.

“This embarkation represents a key milestone for the Marines as we increase proficiencies to set conditions for amphibious operations, and the development of littoral interoperability with the Australian Defence Force,” Captain Brock said.

Adelaide is the Royal Australian Navy’s most recently commissioned ship, and together with her sister ship, HMAS Canberra is the largest ship the Australian Navy has ever operated.