Australian Navy Counts Down to Historic International Fleet Review

Australian Navy Counts Down to Historic International Fleet Review

The 3rd of April 2013 marked six months until Sydneysiders experience one of the biggest commemorative events since the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games: the Royal Australian Navy’s International Fleet Review Sydney 2013.

Taking place on Sydney Harbour from 3 -11 October 2013, the International Fleet Review will commemorate the centenary of the first Royal Australian Navy fleet entry into Sydney Harbour on 4 October 1913.

On this day, the flagship HMAS Australia led the new Australian Fleet of seven cruisers and destroyers (HMA Ships Melbourne, Sydney, Encounter, Warrego, Parramatta and Yarra) into Sydney Harbour for the first time.

It’s anticipated that more than 40 warships from Australia, Brunei, Canada, China, India, Indonesia, France, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Russia, Singapore, Spain, South Korea, Thailand, Tonga, Turkey, United Kingdom and the United States of America will be involved in the International Fleet Review. They will be joined by up to 20 international and local tall ships and at least six military bands.

This one-in-one-hundred-year event will commence with 20 tall ships entering Sydney Harbour on Thursday 3 October, followed by the Combined Warship Entry on Friday 4 October including a symbolic group of seven warships representing the original 1913 fleet.

To mark this historic occasion, Her Excellency the Governor General of Australia will welcome the Fleet from Bradley’s Head on 4 October and officially review the fleet onboard HMAS Leeuwin on Saturday 5 October as part of the Ceremonial Fleet Review.

Naval aviation will also feature on 5 October with more than a dozen RAN and visiting navy helicopters taking part in the day via a massed helicopter flypast over the harbour. Other activities staged during the afternoon include navy helicopter displays, RAAF and historic maritime aircraft flypasts. Saturday 5 October will conclude with the International Fleet Review Pyrotechnics and Lightshow Spectacular at 7.30pm, the scale of which will be similar to Sydney’s annual New Year’s Eve celebrations.

“The International Fleet Review Sydney 2013 will be the largest commemorative event the Royal Australian Navy has ever undertaken,” says Vice Admiral Ray Griggs, Chief of Navy. “We expect it to rival our wonderful 75th Anniversary and Bicentenary celebrations that occurred in 1986 and 1988, with up to one million spectators lining the Sydney Harbour foreshores to witness history in the making.”

Further International Fleet Review activities include Tall Ship and Warship Open Days at Cockle Bay, Darling Harbour, Fleet Base East, Garden Island and Barangaroo on Sunday 6 and Monday 7 October; Freedom of Entry parades in Mosman and Parramatta on Tuesday 8 October; a Combined Navies Parade along George Street from The Rocks to Town Hall on Wednesday 9 October, the RAN Sea Power Conference and Pacific 2013, an international maritime trade show at the Convention Centre from 7-10 October.

Over 8,000 Australian and visiting naval personnel are expected to participate in the event which is being staged in partnership with the NSW State Government and the City of Sydney. The event is expected to bring around $50 million into the state’s economy.

Many of the Australian and international warships will participate in Exercise TRITON CENTENARY 13 off the east coast of Australia and/or visit other Australian ports before and following the International Fleet Review.

Tall Ships from around the world will embark on an exciting journey to Australia to help celebrate the centenary of the Royal Australian Navy’s fleet entry into Sydney Harbour. Australian and foreign tall ships will visit Fremantle, Melbourne and Hobart prior to gathering in Sydney on 3 October 2013 then take part in a special regatta race to Auckland, New Zealand.

Naval Today Staff, April 10, 2013; Image: Australian Navy