Australian Navy’s Last LCHs Prepare for Decommissioning

As the last of the Royal Australian Navy fleet of Landing Craft Heavy (LCH) vessels prepare to be decommissioned this November in Cairns, Leading Seaman Gordon Spooner shares his first-hand knowledge of the important amphibious capability that the vessels have provided to the Navy.

Currently posted to HMAS Brunei, Leading Seaman Spooner has undertaken a South West Pacific deployment on HMAS Labuan, a Pacific Partnership deployment and a variety of other exercises during his time in the long-serving workhorses.

The most memorable thing about my time in LCHs was definitely having the opportunity to help Indonesian people with medical supplies during Pacific Partnership 2011.

HMA Ships Brunei, Labuan and Tarakan are about to pull the ensign down on over four decades of service to the nation.

The Landing Craft have provided nearly 40 years of essential service to communities in Australia and the Pacific. Their versatility as a medium sea lift vessel provided much of the logistics support to Australian Defence Force operations in Bougainville, East Timor and the Solomon Islands.

They also supported Operation RESOLUTE and in Australia’s time of need, were deployed to help in the aftermath of Cyclones Yasi and Tracy.

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Press release, Image: Australian Navy