Chief of Navy Speeches: Floating Off of NUSHIP Sydney

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19 May 2018

Chief of Navy Address at the Floating Off of NUSHIP Sydney
Adelaide, Australia

We are very fortunate to be here today to witness the launch of the third ship of our new class of Air Warfare Destroyers, and the fifth ship of the Royal Australian Navy to carry the name Sydney.

In the last 3 years we have seen the launch of the first two Air Warfare Destroyers — HMAS Hobart and NUSHIP Brisbane — and with the launch today of Sydney the class is now complete.

These are powerful, elegant new warships that will serve Australia as a key part of our fleet for decades to come — a fleet that will be strong, agile, intelligent, and lethal.

In serving Australia I am sure that she will carry on the proud record of those warships named Sydney.

The first Sydney won the Australian Navy’s first sea battle when she found, engaged and beached the German cruiser Emden near the Cocos Islands in November 1914.

The ultimate sacrifice was paid by the second Sydney in November 1941 when she was sunk by the German ship Kormoran — a sacrifice which has come to symbolise our sailor’s commitment to their shipmates, their ship, and their nation.

The only ship in the Australian Navy which would serve under both the British White Ensign and then the Australian White Ensign during the same conflict when the third Sydney saw action in Vietnam.

The fourth Sydney which served with distinction around Australia and on operations in the Middle East, East Timor, Fiji, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.

Today, the fifth Sydney will join her sister ships Hobart and Brisbane in their natural environment — the sea. 

Today, as Sydney floats clear of her synchrolift she will continue her journey towards decades of service to the nation.

The launch of a new warship is always a feat of imagination, planning, engineering, logistics, administration and sheer hard work.
On behalf of Navy I thank all those teams of skilled and dedicated people who have contributed to the build, the construction and integration of parts from keel-laying to launch.

Today is a credit to each of you.

It is an age old tradition in navies around the world for a prominent person to launch new ships.

We are delighted to have as Sydney’s Launching Lady and Ship’s Sponsor, Mrs Judy Shalders.

Judy holds a strong link to this ship — from her years of support to Navy and her husband, Vice Admiral Russ Shalders, including during his command of HMAS Sydney (IV); and he was the Chief of Navy when the decision was made to build these ships.
I could not think of a more fitting launching lady for the Navy's newest Air Warfare Destroyer.

As Ship’s Sponsor, Judy will have an important and perpetual role in the life of the ship. And she and her husband together will provide an important link between Sydney (IV) and Sydney (V).

Judy, it is most fitting that you should take the honour of launching Sydney.

I now invite you to the podium.