WARSHIPS and tall ships from around the world will arrive this week to mark 100 years since the Royal Australian Navy’s fleet first sailed into Sydney Harbour.
The International Fleet Review event will bring together nearly 40 warships from countries including China, Thailand and the United States, as well as 17 tall ships from across the Commonwealth.
The program includes a tall ships parade, warship arrival, aerial fly pasts, ship open days, street marches, harbour demonstrations and a fireworks spectacular.
The Armidale Class Patrol Boat crew Attack Five is using its transit between Cairns and Sydney to prepare for the key role it will play in the International Fleet Review Pyrotechnics and Light-show Spectacular on Sydney Harbour on Saturday, October 5.
Attack Five is embarked in the Darwin based patrol boat HMAS Broome, which left Brisbane with four Pacific Patrol Boats from Papua New Guinea, Tonga and Micronesia, to complete the final sector of their passage to Sydney.
Broome will be used as a fireworks platform during the Pyrotechnics and Light-show spectacular, and every member of Attack Five is preparing to wow the crowd of thousands expected to watch the show from the banks of the harbour.
“We’ll be positioned just off Luna Park and we’ll be performing scenes in sync with the various elements of the pyrotechnics and light show,” said Lieutenant Scott Jarman, the crew’s Executive Officer.
“Our scenes will involve costume changes and dynamic role playing, and will involve every member of the crew,” he said.
Broome’s Commanding Officer, Commander Melanie Verho said the voyage to Sydney for the IFR was somewhat of a reward for her crew.
“This crew has worked extremely hard this year, having spent a lot of time at sea on operations which are always demanding and challenging,” CMDR Verho said.
“I can not even express how excited we felt when we left Darwin to set sail for Sydney. This is a rare treat for us, and there is an IFR buzz throughout the boat,” she said.
Broome will be the first warship to be reviewed by the Governor General during the IFR Ceremonial Fleet Review on October 5, and her crew has been practicing the ‘man and cheer ship’ evolution to ensure they get everything right for the Governor General and her guest of honour, HRH Prince Harry.
Petty Officer Communications and Information Systems Sailor Julie Fairchild normally works for the Patrol Boat Group at Larrakeyah Barracks in Darwin, but jumped at the chance to join Broome for the IFR experience.
“PO Fairchild is onboard to lend a hand with the significant tactical communications efforts involved in operating as part a large task-group of warships. Her experience is already coming in very handy,” said CMDR Verho.
“It’s really great to be back at sea and I’m really excited about IFR. It is going to be unforgettable,” PO Fairchild said.
Attack Five will continue to polish their performance skills over the next few days, and will continue to practice in-company manoeuvring with the Pacific Patrol Boats – so that everyone is ready and raring to go for the International Fleet Review.Footage and Photography courtesy of the Department of Defence