The commissioning crew of NUSHIP Supply (II) donned ships hats and badges for the first time on Monday, 13 January 2020 at Garden Island, Sydney.
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Navantia Australia has been building a close relationship with the ship’s company ahead of the delivery of the unit later this year. One of the efforts Navantia has done to assist the ship’s company was to support them in preparing for this gathering.
As part of the proceedings, Navantia Australia loaned the company's 1:100 scale model of the AOR Supply, a large banner image of NUSHIP Supply (II) and the production of the commemorative booklet containing the history of Supply, dating back to the brig HMS Supply (III), technical specifications for AOR and the names of the commissioning crew.
The ‘vibe’ from the crew on the day was positive and everyone was in high spirits.
HMS Supply (III) was employed as the naval tender and armed companion of the First Fleet’s flagship HMS Sirius. Considered by some as ‘too small for so long a voyage’ and a ‘very improper vessel for this type of service’, HMS Supply, while the smallest and oldest of the 11 ships in the First Fleet, proved to be the swiftest and was soon made the flagship by the Fleet Captain, Arthur Phillip.
HMS Supply was the first vessel to arrive in Botany Bay on 18 January 1788 and subsequently the first British warship to enter Port Jackson, encompassing Sydney Harbour. Three of the first governors of NSW are linked to Supply – Arthur Phillip, John Hunter and Philip Gidley King.
When commissioned late this year, AOR Supply will be the second HMA Ship to bear that name and will be the lead ship of the two Supply Class AORs.
The former was built in Northern Ireland and decommissioned after a long and diverse career on 16 December 1985 and was replaced by HMAS Success (II).
Alfonso Garcia-Valdes 'delivered' to the commanding officer Captain Ben Hissink a model of the Supply Class AOR and reaffirmed to the ship’s company that Navantia Australia looks forward to stands ready to support Supply throughout her life of service.
Captain Ben Hissink presented Garcia-Valdes with his own ship’s cap embroidered with MD-NAUS, which he was delighted to receive.
Ahead of delivery, Navantia Australia has been co-located with CASG AORSPO at Garden Island, Sydney, since January 2019 and is currently headed up by John Wardell. Personnel will be located at HMAS Stirling at Garden Island, Western Australia, in the coming months.
Later this year, the AORSPO Enterprise will be formed by CASG and Navantia Australia,and an industry partner to assist with performance of maintenance activities will be appointed.
Navantia Australia has been appointed in-service support contractor providing through-life support services for the first five years.
HMAS Supply, is planned to enter service in 2020, with full operational capability scheduled for 2022. The second Supply Class vessel, HMAS Stalwart, is expected to enter service in 2022.
HMA Ships Success and Sirius will be replaced with a single class of double-hulled, AOR ship to be built by Spanish shipbuilder Navantia. The two Australian ships are based on the Spanish Navy's Cantabria Class AORs.
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 operations following a natural disaster.
HMAS Supply was launched at the Navantia Shipyards in Ferrol, Spain, on 24 November 2018. The following day, in accordance with shipbuilding tradition, the Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Michael Noonan, positioned a coin under where the hull will be constructed for Stalwart.