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- Ship design and development
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- HMAS Gascoyne II, HMAS Hawkesbury II
- June 2000 edition of the Naval Historical Review (all rights reserved)
The fourth of six Huon Class minehunters ADI is building for the Royal Australian Navy was recently launched at Newcastle. The on schedule, within budget launch of GASCOYNE follows the commencement of service by the first two ships, HMAS HUON and HMAS HAWKESBURY, and the advancement of sea trials by the third of the class, NORMAN. The fifth minehunter DIAMANTINA is currently being outfitted and the sixth, YARRA, is completing construction. The $1 billion project will provide Australia with the world’s most advanced mine warfare capability. GASCOYNE was launched by Ms Victoria Peel, daughter of Captain John Peel who commanded the first HMAS GASCOYNE during World War II.
HAWKESBURY joins the fleet.
The latest of Australia’s HUON class minehunters has joined the fleet in a traditional commissioning ceremony held at HMAS WATERHEN.
HMAS HAWKESBURY (LCDR Steve McCarey) was commissioned on Saturday, 12 February, at her new homeport, HMAS WATERHEN in Sydney.
Hawkesbury’s launching lady, Mrs Jennifer Smythe, was on hand for the commissioning. Mrs Smythe is the wife of Commodore Dacre Smythe AO RAN (Rtd), former commanding officer of HMAS HAWKESBURY (I).
In what is believed to be a first for the Royal Australian Navy, members of the Naval Reserve Cadets played a prominent part in the commissioning ceremony.
Three members of Training Ship HAWKESBURY took part in the ceremony, bearing the responsibility for raising the Australian National Flag, Australian White Ensign and Commissioning Pennant.
The three Cadets chosen carried out their duties flawlessly, although all admitted to more than a few butterflies as the ceremony proceeded.
TS HAWKESBURY has a close association with the RANs newest minehunter, having attended HAWKESBURY’S launching as well.
With the commissioning ceremony over, the guests proceeded indoors to witness a number of traditional activities, including a presentation of a framed image of the ship from ADI to HAWKESBURY.
Mrs Smythe received the HMAS HAWKESBURY tally band worn by ABCSO Adam Browne, who was the first sailor to march on board the ship as a commissioned fleet unit.
The commissioning cake was then cut by Mrs Smythe and AB Browne as the youngest member of the new ship’s company.
HAWKESBURY is the first of the new minehunters to be completely Australian built, the hull of HUON having been brought out from Italy.
The commissioning of HAWKESBURY highlights the success of the new minehunter project, with six state of the art minehunters being delivered to the RAN.
With HAWKESBURY now in commission, NORMAN, GASCOYNE, DIAMANTINA and YARRA building and HUON already showing her paces on exercises, the way forward is looking bright for the Mine Warfare Branch.