Royal Australian Navy announced the Port of Eden as NUSHIP Supply’s ceremonial home port during an event held by the waters of Cocora Beach, Eden over the weekend.
Representing the strength and importance the new bond will create for both Navy and the local community, 40 crew members of Supply stood beside community members in a circle at the Cocora Beach Amphitheatre as leaders spoke about the significance of the announcement.
Bega Valley Shire Mayor Russell Fitzpatrick said the announcement was welcomed by the local community, which has had a long-standing relationship with Navy including HMAS Adelaide’s assistance during the bushfires most recently.
“On 19 June, the Chief of Navy approved the Port of Eden as Supply’s ceremonial home port, and we as a community could not feel more privileged or honoured to announce that today,” Mayor Fitzpatrick said. “We look forward to a long, productive and prosperous relationship with NUSHIP Supply.”
Commanding Officer of Supply, Captain Ben Hissink, said the branding is a pivotal step forward in the crew-wide endeavour to ensure Supply meets the needs of a culturally inclusive and diverse workforce. “It is important for all of us in Supply to recognise our country’s Indigenous people and to strive for inclusiveness that collectively strengthens us in the service of our nation,” he said.
At the end of the ceremony, Captain Hissink unveiled Supply’s new mascot, designed by local Aboriginal artists Alison Simpson and Joe Stewart and approved by the Eden Local Aboriginal Land Council.
“This artwork is the culmination of a vision we had to create a wholly inclusive ship inspired by the Indigenous community that values community and family, and protects each other,” Captain Hissink said.
The construction of future HMAS Supply (A195) – now NUSHIP Supply – was started on June 19, 2017 and the keel laying ceremony was conducted at Navantia’s shipyard in Ferrol on Nov. 17 the same year. The vessel was launched on November 24, 2018.
NUSHIP Supply is due to arrive in Sydney and commission early next year.
RAN Supply Class AOR
The two Supply Class AOR vessels, which are based on Spanish Navy replenishment oiler, Cantabria (A15), were ordered in May 9, 2017 as part of the Royal Australian Navy’s Project SEA1654. The contract between Navantia and the Commonwealth of Australia also includes life cycle support for the two vessels for a period of 5 years.
The ships, which are adapted to Australian standards and requirements, will replace the current RAN replenishment ships, HMAS Success (OR 304) and HMAS Sirius (O 266).
The ships are intended to carry fuel, dry cargo, water, food, ammunition, equipment and spare parts to provide operational support for the deployed naval or combat forces operating far from the port on the high seas for longer periods.
In addition to replenishment, the vessels can be used to combat against environmental pollution at sea, provide logistics support for the armed forces, and to support humanitarian and disaster relief (HADR) operations following a natural disaster.