While many across Australia enjoyed celebrating the Queen’s Birthday long weekend, the nation’s newest Guided Missile Destroyer, HMAS Sydney (V), sailed north from its home port to conduct the ship’s first port visit to the City of Newcastle.
Sailing into Newcastle, HMAS Sydney was welcomed with a four-gun salute from Fort Scratchley at Flagstaff Hill as she entered the Hunter River.
The impact of the gun salute was not lost on the crew of Sydney who were impressed by the acknowledgement from the City of Newcastle.
“This is HMAS Sydney’s first port visit outside of her home port of Fleet Base East in Sydney, after commissioning at sea only three weeks ago, on 18 May,” Maritime Logistics Officer Lieutenant Commander Kristen Russo said.
“We did not expect such a warm welcome and the entire crew appreciate the gesture from the City of Newcastle to the Navy’s newest warship,” she said.
The planned visit was an important component of the ship’s preparation for future deployments.
The purpose of the visit to Newcastle was to test duty watch systems and port visit routines prior to Sydney departing for its United States Combat Systems Sea Qualification Trials deployment in the first half of 2021, which will see Sydney test its Aegis Weapons System with the United States Navy.
The Commanding Officer of HMAS Sydney, Commander Edward Seymour, was positive about the opportunities the visit provided.
“Being one of Australia’s most important and busiest ports, as well as the largest export port on the east coast, it’s entirely appropriate that HMAS Sydney’s first port visit was to Newcastle,” he said.
“We received a very warm reception and it was evident that Novocastrians are up to date with the latest news on their Royal Australian Navy with many locals coming close to the ship to have a look at the newest addition to our Fleet.
“We hope next time Sydney visits Newcastle to be able to open the ship to visitors,” Commander Seymour said.
Following her successful port visit to Newcastle, HMAS Sydney will return to her home port of Fleet Base East at Garden Island to continue her program of test and evaluation.