Divers rewarded for a year of excellence

Published on LEUT Mick Wheeler (author), LSIS Ronnie Baltoft (photographer)

Location(s): Fleet Base West, WA

Topic(s): Australian Clearance Diving Team FOUR, Rushcutter’s Shield

L-R: Mine Warfare and Clearance Diving Group, Commander Ryan Post, RAN; Commander Mine Warfare Hydrographic and Patrol Force, Captain Bryan Parker, RAN; and Commanding Officer Australian Clearance Diving Team Four (AUSCDT4) Lieutenant Commander Fletcher Wall and personnel from AUSCDT4 with the Rushcutter Shield at AUSCDT4 in Fleet Base West, WA. (photo: LSIS Ronnie Baltoft)
L-R: Mine Warfare and Clearance Diving Group, Commander Ryan Post, RAN; Commander Mine Warfare Hydrographic and Patrol Force, Captain Bryan Parker, RAN; and Commanding Officer Australian Clearance Diving Team Four (AUSCDT4) Lieutenant Commander Fletcher Wall and personnel from AUSCDT4 with the Rushcutter Shield at AUSCDT4 in Fleet Base West, WA.

Australian Clearance Diving Team Four has been formally recognised for an outstanding 2019 with the award of the Rushcutter’s Shield in a presentation ceremony at Fleet Base West.

The shield was presented to the Commanding Officer of Team Four, Lieutenant Commander Fletcher Wall, by Commander Mine Warfare, Clearance Diving, Hydrographic, Meteorological, Oceanographic and Patrol Force (COMMHP) Captain Bryan Parker, on behalf of the Fleet Commander.

The Rushcutter’s Shield is awarded each year to the Mine Hunter Coastal or Australian Clearance Diving Team that has been foremost in all aspect of Mine Counter Measures operations, safety, reliability and unit level training.

In presenting the award, Captain Parker noted the strong contribution of the team, particularly its role in organising and conducting Exercise DUGONG 2019.

“Team Four’s preparation for and conduct of exercises and operations in 2019 has been outstanding.

“The team demonstrated astute planning, consistently superior reliability and proven operational excellence in every task assigned both on the Australian station and across the globe,” he said.

“Team Four’s efforts supporting Exercises DUGONG and TALISMAN SABRE were first rate. Participation in Operation RENDER SAFE enhanced the Royal Australian Navy’s reputation as a highly capable maritime force.

Team Four’s achievements are of the highest order and are in keeping with the finest traditions of the Royal Australian Navy,” Captain Parker said.

COMMHP made special mention of the contribution of the former Commanding Officer of AUSCDT4, Commander Ryan Post, who led the team through 2019 and particularly during the multi-national Exercise DUGONG.

“Exercise DUGONG was a very complex Five Eyes activity with multiple water space management challenges encompassing very shallow water mine countermeasures, explosive ordnance disposal, counter improvised explosive device disposal, underwater damage repair and expeditionary reconnaissance and clearance activities.

“The entire exercise in the end met all expectations with Commander Post’s excellent leadership of Team Four being instrumental to its success,” Captain Parkers said.

Each year, the Royal Australian Navy presents the Annual Fleet Awards to the highest performing Fleet units, establishments and squadrons across a variety of disciplines and skills.

Imagery available on the Defence Image Library: http://images.defence.gov.au/S20201099.