Australian Warships Conduct Platform Swap in Fleet Base West


Following an extremely busy and challenging five weeks alongside in Fleet Base West, HMAS Anzac (Commander Brett Sonter) recently departed and sailed for her new home port of Sydney.

The formally HMAS Stirling based FFH was brought out of a 12 month Extended Readiness period by the crew of HMAS Stuart, who had recently returned from operational deployment (OP SLIPPER Rotation 25), in conjunction with the FFH Support Team (FFHST) (LCDR Alex Gillett). This marks the first time that Anzac has been home ported in Sydney and Stuart home ported at Stirling.

In the lead up to the swap, Material Condition Assessments were conducted on all compartments and equipment onboard with particular focus on ensuring that Anzac was safe to sail to Fleet Base East. With significant assistance from the FFHST, manpower provision from Fleet Support Unit (FSU) Perth, and oversight from key Engineering Division personnel, the transition from dormant platform to operational unit was conducted in a systematic and diligent manner.

Commander Brett Sonter is the first Commander to fulfil the position as Commanding Officer (CO) onboard the Anzac. This platform swap also represents the second time that he and his crew have carried out such innovative cross-ship tasking. The former ship’s company of Stuart had previously conducted the first Major Fleet Unit (MFU) sea-swap from HMAS Ballarat in July 2010, prior to work-up and operational deployment.

Having assumed Command of Anzac on the 5th September 2011, Commander Sonter said the transition had gone smoothly.

“The transfer of all material, equipment and personnel has gone to plan thanks to the hard work and efforts of my ship’s company, the FFHST and external support organisations,” said CMDR Sonter. “We’ve been kept very busy. Not only did the former crew of Stuart conduct the platform swap to Anzac, but they also assisted the FFHST in preparing Stuart for placement into Extended Readiness.”

Anzac returns to Fleet Base East for a period alongside prior to Docking Selected Restricted Availability in December.

Source: navy, September 27, 2011