Australian Clearance Diving Team Four has been formally recognised for an outstanding 2019 with the award of the Rushcutters Shield. The annual award celebrates excellence in mine countermeasures operation.
The shield was presented to Lieutenant Commander Fletcher Wall, Commanding Officer of Team Four, by Commander Mine Warfare, Clearance Diving, Hydrographic, Meteorological, Oceanographic and Patrol Force (COMMHP) Captain Bryan Parker.
The Rushcutters Shield is awarded each year to the Minehunter Coastal or Australian Clearance Diving Team that has been "foremost in all aspects of mine countermeasures operations, safety, reliability and unit-level training".
In presenting the award, CAPT Parker noted the strong contribution of the team, particularly its role in organising and conducting Exercise DUGONG 2019.
“Team Four’s preparation for and conduct of exercises and operations in 2019 has been outstanding,” he said.
“The team demonstrated astute planning, consistently superior reliability and proven operational excellence in every task assigned both on the Australian station and across the globe.
“Team Four’s efforts supporting Exercises Dugong and Talisman Sabre were first-rate. Participation in Operation Render Safe enhanced the Royal Australian Navy’s reputation as a highly capable maritime force.
“Exercise Dugong was a very complex Five Eyes activity with multiple water space management challenges encompassing very shallow water mine countermeasures, explosive ordnance disposal, counter improvised explosive device disposal, underwater damage repair and expeditionary reconnaissance and clearance activities.”
Exercise Dugong 19, which also featured navies from the US, UK, Canada and New Zealand, plays a major role in enhancing interoperability between participating nations in all facets of maritime mine warfare in challenging shallow-water environments.
Each year, the Royal Australian Navy presents the Annual Fleet Awards to the highest performing Fleet units, establishments and squadrons across a variety of musterings.