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THE U.S. NAVY HAS TOO FEW SHIPS

As the U.S. land wars in the Middle East fade into obscurity, Washington is slowly bracing itself for the naval age that will dominate the twenty-first century. Inherently a maritime nation, the future of America’s role in the world will be determined by its sea power. In light of China’s entrance into the global commons, no other military branch is flexible enough to respond to Beijing’s challenge and maintain the balance-of-power in the Indo-Pacific. But despite its unmatched technological superiority, the Navy has the numbers problem as a result of self-inflicted disarmament of the United States. Due to perceived low-level maritime threats such as piracy and smuggling in the seas, the U.S. Navy was reduced dramatically in the aftermath of the Cold War. There were simpl...

MASCOT FOR HMAS BRISBANE

A little-known piece of Australian Navy history dating back to the First World War is being kept alive with a British Bulldog by the name of Hank becoming the first mascot for ‘the Steel Cat’, HMAS Brisbane (III). Hank – who carries the honourary rank of Leading Seaman – took pride of place when Brisbane’s 200 officers and sailors recently exercised their Freedom of Entry with a march through the streets of Brisbane. The Freedom of Entry march was one of many activities the Air Warfare Destroyer fit into the maiden port visit to her namesake city. The tradition of a British Bulldog representing warships goes back over a century to the First World War. In 1941 an advertisement was placed in the Courier Mail newspaper calling for a “Brisbane British Bulldo...

BOOST FOR VETERANS AND THEIR FAMILIES

The Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has today (24 April 2019) announced additional funding to support the wellbeing of New Zealand’s veterans and their families.  The funding will go towards health and wellbeing assessments for veterans to ensure that when they leave the Defence Force they are linked to the right support services. “The review of the Veterans’ Support Act 2014 published by Professor Ron Paterson identified that we need to do more for our veterans and their families,” says Ron Mark. This new funding package will address some of his key findings, and help meet increasing demands for services.”We now have upwards of 31,000 contemporary veterans in New Zealand. These younger veterans need early interventions to prevent service-related mental and phy...

HMNZS AOTEAROA LAUNCHED

At a launch ceremony this week, the Royal New Zealand Navy’s first purpose-built ship in 10 years, HMNZS Aotearoa, finally found herself in her natural environment only eight months after her keel was laid in a South Korean shipyard, the RNZN press office announced on April 25. HMNZS Aotearoa auxiliary ship was constructed at the Hyundai Heavy Industries dry dock under a USD327 million contract. In 2020, it will replace the Navy’s latest replenishment oiler, HMNZS Endeavour, which was decommissioned in 2017. “Seeing a ship of this size and capability on the water nearing full completion is a really exciting time for our Navy,” said the Chief of Navy, Rear Admiral David Proctor, during his speech. “Aotearoa will provide us with a world-class maritime sustainmen...

ANZAC DAY PARADE – DEVONPORT NAVAL BASE

Thanks to HMNZS Ngapona for organising the ANZAC Day Parade at the Devonport Naval Base. The parade, led by the Navy Band, included Veterans, Ngapona Ships Company, 120 BCTs, TS Leander Navy Cadets, and Calliope Sea Scouts. I would have to say that I was disappointed with the number of veterans on parade, perhaps it was due to recent events in Christchurch. I hope we can do better next year. Special thanks to Ngapona Coxn, CPO Shane Kennedy for his organisational skills.

NAVY TRADITION OF SPIT POLISHING BOOTS/SHOES

(Supplied by Jack Donnelly (WOGI Rtd) Do our young sailors of today still spit polish their naval footwear?  As Seaman Boys we were issued with 2 pairs of boots, one for working in and the other for guard/ceremonial duties. The art to spit polishing one’s footwear is very time consuming and requires a lot of patience, concentration, radio, TV or a good ‘talking’ mate.  Ensure you have a good comfortable place to sit, and away you go.  As for the perfect technique to spit polishing boots/shoes they are many and varied so I will explain how we were taught by our instructors at Tamaki on Motuihe island. You will require polish, a soft clean cotton rag, water or alcohol and an old toothbrush at the ready.  The use of alcohol may well have been a sailors ‘dit’ neve...

2019 Navy Club Membership

It’s almost time to renew your Navy Club membership or consider becoming a member.  The yearly subscription for the 2019 year (1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020) is $25. Invoices will be sent to existing members and any new members can join by clicking here

WREATH LAYING PROCEDURES AND PROTOCOL

RNZRSA CEREMONIAL GUIDE Former Gunnery Instructors Warrant Officer Jack Donnelly, BEM, RNZN and Chief Petty Officer Tony Lewis, RNZN have written a Ceremonial Planning, Procedural and Protocol Guide for the RNZRSA. The fourth chapter is reproduced below:                                  “Our tribute to the fallen” A very solemn and formal military ritual in which the wreath symbolizes remembrance. The type of flowers making up a wreath have different meanings, and there are various types of wreaths that may be laid on ANZAC Day/Remembrance Day. Planning and organising the wreath laying ceremony begins at the committee meeting with your nominations of whom to invite to lay a wreath. Once your list has been finalised the next consideration is to arrange the order of precedence. Each RSA orga...

CRANE VESSEL ‘RAPAKI’

A national heritage “treasure” of the seas has been towed along the Auckland waterfront to die the death of old boats. The Rapaki, the steam-driven crane vessel that served in Lyttelton, the Middle East and the Pacific before retiring in Auckland, is being broken up at Wynyard Wharf. Tim Hanna – the author of books on motorcycle speedster Burt Munro and motorcycle builder John Britten – said the scrapping of Rapaki, one of the world’s few remaining steam crane vessels, was an act of vandalism. “It’s a taonga, a national treasure of tremendous significance,” said Hanna, a Lumsden publican. He said he had been lucky enough to go on the Rapaki when it was fired up and the crane was moving. “It was absolutely tremendous. It was such a power...

COASTAL TRADER ‘DARING’

The New Zealand shipwreck given up from its sandy grave after 153 years has rolled away on the back of a truck. The timber hull of the 17m-long sailing vessel, the Daring, whose shroud of sand was wiped away by wind and tide, has this week been transported from its 1865 resting place. A coastal trader under the control of Captain Phipps, the Daring went aground at Kaipara Harbour’s South Head, northwest of Muriwai in a February storm. Efforts to re-launch the vessel in the surf during the following weeks were unsuccessful and the it was claimed by the beach. In May this year, the hull of what had been a two-masted boat emerged from the sand in an area now part of the Defence Force’s Kaipara Air Weapons Range. A group was soon formed to protect the rare find and now the Daring w...

Presentation of Bosuns Call by The Navy Club

  President of The Navy Club Fred Wilson presenting OMED Amberleigh Shields with a Bosun’s Call.  Amberleigh was the winner of the Navy Club Trophy.

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