During a recent Port visit to Cairns, HMAS Newcastle gave 33 cadets from Cadet Training Ship Endeavour the opportunity to tour the Guided Missile Frigate.
The cadet unit based at HMAS Cairns took the rare opportunity afforded them to tour a major Fleet unit, meet some of the sailors and officers of Newcastle, and gain an insight into the roles and responsibilities of Navy personnel, while also discovering what it takes to be a crew member of a fighting warship.
The Australian Navy Cadets teach young Australians the value of hard work, adventure and teamwork and the cadets were able to see how those attributes come into play in the Royal Australian Navy.
Highlights of the day included tours of Newcastle’s embarked helicopter (affectionately known as ‘Fatcat’), bridge, and upper decks, including the 76mm gun and missile launchers.
The cadets were sponges for information, despite the often confusing nature of Navy’s deck and compartment labelling, which led to some cadets enthusiastically asking whether the port bridge wing was ‘the poop deck’!
Newcastle’s Officer of the Day, Lieutenant Suresh Kumar said he strongly believes in the importance of the Australian Navy Cadets.
“It’s important that the Royal Australian Navy maintains a regular and strong relationship with cadet units from all around the country,” he said.
“Australian Navy Cadets supply a significant percentage of recruits to the Navy every year and the more they see of how the actual Navy operates the better informed they will be,” Lieutenant Kumar said.
Lieutenant Alan Knights, the Liaison Officer for TS Endeavour and HMAS Cairns, escorted the Cadet’s onboard Newcastle. Lieutenant Knights has been with the cadet unit for three months and has found it very rewarding.
“Many cadets aspire to be sailors, and carry out the ceremonies of Colours and Sunset, and they love it,” he said.
“The sailors at HMAS Cairns mentor cadets in the proper procedures, which is great,” Lieutenant Knights said.
It was clear from the smile on the cadets’ faces at the end of the day that they were enormously happy with their tour of Newcastle.
“HMAS Newcastle was a very good experience, because it was my first time on a warship and I loved every minute of it,” Cadet Recruit Rylan Baxter said.