HMAS Adelaide in first unit readiness drill

One of Royal Australian Navy’s largest ever warships, landing helicopter dock HMAS Adelaide, has departed Sydney Harbor and is engaged in her first unit readiness work-up.

The ship’s company had little time to appreciate the significance of the milestone with Adelaide’s work-up beginning in earnest immediately after the 27,000 tonne ship cleared the heads.

The first damage control alarm sounded throughout the ship not long after departure, “Smoke, smoke, smoke! Smoke in the Aviation Workshop. Standing Sea Fire Party muster and investigate.”

Officer of the Watch maneuvers followed, and then helicopter operations. All on day number one.

The scenarios will repeat themselves and grow even more complex over the next three weeks as Sea Training Group tests Adelaide to see if she is ready to conduct humanitarian aid, disaster relief and non-combatant evacuation operations.

Lead Sea Trainer and Fleet Direction Officer, Lieutenant Commander Marc Beecroft, said the delivery of disaster relief training was of the highest importance to the Australian Defence Force.

“Royal Australian Navy major fleet units are held at high levels of readiness, often just 48 hours notice to move, for operations such as humanitarian aid, disaster relief and non-combatant evacuation,” he said.

“The context of this readiness is that deployed fleet units may well find themselves as a first responder to a natural disaster or where a situation in a foreign country requires the evacuation of Australian citizens.”

Consistent demonstrations of proficiency over all tasks are needed to pass the evaluation.

Those areas include damage control, seamanship, navigation, non-combatant evacuation, and helicopter and landing craft operations.

The 230 meter ship is one of two landing helicopter dock ship with the Australian. HMAS Adelaide was commissioned in December 2015 while her sister ship joined the Navy in November 2014.