Victorian base, HMAS Cerberus opened the gates at on 23 October for their biennial open day, offering visitors an insight into initial training, naval tradition, new capabilities and life in the ‘blue suit’.
Cerberus, often referred to as the ‘Cradle of the Navy’ due being home of Recruit training, actually provides training for Navy, Army and Air Force personnel.
With a staff of up to 800, Cerberus trains in the order of 4,000 Defence members annually averaging 1,500 trainees onboard at any one time. With training offered for all three services it was a great opportunity for Army and Air Force to also put on a show for the crowds.
Commanding Officer Captain Stephen Bowater said there were more than 30 military activities to see and participate in, including interactive displays by Navy Clearance Divers and cooking demonstrations by Navy and Army Cooks.
“Our emphasis is to train our men and women to the highest of professional standards so they’re well prepared to be part of the Australian Defence Force,” Captain Bowater said.
“The Open Day is a great opportunity for the public to see the range of training we offer and speak with our people about life in the Australian Defence Force.”
For the first time since 1988 the ‘Navy Rescue Challenge’ was undertaken with two teams competing to retrieve 50 personnel from the opposite side of a river using a jackstay transfer. Jackstay transfer is used at sea to transfer personnel, cargo and fuel between ships while they are underway.
Training faculties opened for inspection, indigenous Defence members shared cultural traditions, Army Commandos approached from the sky, and a helicopter from Navy’s 816 Squadron conducted wet-winching and fast-roping demonstations.
There was something for everyone including those with an interest in history who experienced some of the rarities housed at Cerberus Museum and watched the traditional ceremonial sunset to close out the day.
More information on Cerberus can be found at http://www.navy.gov.au/establishments/hmas-cerberus