The Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) Canberra-class landing helicopter dock (LHD) ship, HMAS Adelaide (L01) sailed into Melbourne last week, returning for the first time to the city where she was built.
The ship came alongside at Station Pier near St Kilda Beach to resupply following a busy program of exercises off the east coast. The port visit also provided the ship’s company with weekend respite.
At 230 metres in length, Adelaide’s dimensions were greater than the Spirit of Tasmania docked nearby.
Commanding Officer, Captain Jonathan Earley said his crew was excited to be in Melbourne after several busy weeks at sea. “Melbourne is always a special port to visit and it’s great for HMAS Adelaide to be back in the city where she was fitted out.
“Adelaide and her sister ship Canberra, as well as all of our current frigates were constructed in Williamstown, and most sailors would have memories of Melbourne from their time as recruits at HMAS Cerberus. Our 400-strong crew have been working hard during exercises so a weekend in Melbourne is a great way to take a short break before we return to sea for further training,” Captain Earley said.
Victoria’s Governor, Her Excellency the Honourable Linda Dessau, along with the Senior Naval Officer for Victoria, Commodore Greg Yorke, joined the ship via Adelaide’s embarked helicopter in Port Phillip Bay for a tour of the ship’s extensive facilities and opportunity to watch the ship berth at Station Pier.
The ship hosted an official reception while alongside that included displays of Navy MRH-90 and MH-60R aircraft, Army ground vehicles and a Team Navy V8 Supercar. The evening concluded with a ceremonial sunset and Royal Australian Navy Band performance.
Over the course of the weekend Adelaide also hosted a number of visits from local ADF units and potential candidates from Defence Force Recruiting as well as many of the crew’s family and friends.
Adelaide is a Canberra class Landing Helicopter Dock capable of transporting more than 100 ground vehicles, up to 18 helicopters and more than 1,000 embarked troops.
She is capable of carrying out a variety of roles, including large scale task group operations and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR).