Australia: Fleet Base West Experiences Busy First Half of 2012
Fleet Base West has experienced a busy first half of 2012, with both HMAS Stirling and West based Fleet Units playing host to several high profile international visitors since January.
April was particularly busy with a flurry of VIP visits to the West. The first was from the United States Secretary of the Navy, the Hon Ray Mabus, who called on HMAS Stirling’s Commanding Officer CAPT Brett Wolski, and was given a tour of the base including key infrastructure which supports the ships, submarines and personnel.
The next high profile visitor was the First Sea Lord and Chief of the Naval Staff of the United Kingdom, Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope. Having started his career as a Submariner in the Royal Navy, Admiral Sir Stanhope was most interested in the Collins Class Submarine HMAS Dechaineux, and Australia’s plans for future submarines.
The Supreme Allied Commander Europe (NATO), Admiral James Stavridis, was the next VIP to cross the gangway at HMAS Stirling. Admiral Stavridis, a Surface Warfare Officer in the United States Navy, paid a visit to the crew of HMAS Toowoomba who are preparing for deployment to the Middle East at the end of the year, to thank them for their efforts in support of operations.
The Chief of Naval Staff of the Indian Navy, Admiral Nirmal Verma, was also welcomed aboard for a visit in April.
Other visits since the start of 2012 have included the ship’s company of the Japanese Self Defence Force Icebreaker Shirase, the submarine USS Michigan, the Deputy Minister of National Defence of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Senior Lt Gen Vinh, Defence Minister Stephen Smith, and the Commander of the Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Tim Barrett.
CAPT Wolski said the visits were a testament to the great work being done by Navy in Western Australia, and the importance of the maritime capability Australia is projecting into the Indian Ocean.
“Our people have been working hard, and are consistently producing excellent results across the board, in areas from war fighting and maintaining war fighting capabilities, to training, supplying and supporting the Fleet Units.’
“The high standards being achieved here in the West by all Navy people are being noticed both domestically and abroad. It is a credit to the professionalism and dedication of our workforce,” said CAPT Wolski.
Naval Today Staff, May 03, 2012; Image: navy