Chief of Navy Speeches: Address - Launch of NUSHIP Supply

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23 November 2018

Address - Launch of NUSHIP Supply
Navantia Ferrol Dockyard, Spain


Speech - Part 1

Good afternoon Australian Ambassador to Spain, President of Navantia, Managing Director of Navantia Ferrol Shipyard, Admiral of Ferrol Arsenal, President of Provincial Council, Mayor of Ferrol, Government Representative, President of Galician Government, Ship Sponsor, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen.

We are here today to witness the launch of the first of the Royal Australian Navy’s two new Auxiliary Oiler Replenishment ships, and the second ship of the Royal Australian Navy to carry the name Supply.

The first HMAS Supply was a Tide Class Fleet Oiler built in Belfast, Northern Ireland (the same shipyard that built Titanic).

She was launched in 1954. As international tensions had lessened by then, the RAN leased the ship to the British Admiralty, as Royal Fleet Auxiliary Tide Austral.

The ship was commissioned in the RAN in August 1962, as HMAS Tide Austral, and then recommissioned in September that year as HMAS Supply.

Supply saw active service during the Malayan Confrontation/Konfrontasi 1965-1966 and was awarded battle honours.

Some keys events in Supply’s 23 year career were supporting operations by the RAN in Vietnam, the New Zealand Government’s protest of French nuclear testing in the South Pacific, and Disaster Relief in Northern Australia following Cyclone Tracy. She was decommissioned in 1985.

Today, as Supply (II) floats clear of her synchro lift she will commence her journey towards decades of service to the Australian nation.

In support of Australia’s national interests, Supply will travel the oceans of the world and extend our warship endurance and operational range.

In support of our region, Supply will work with our neighbouring navies to promote good will and stability.

In support of global interests, Supply will be capable of undertaking Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief operations.

The launch of a new warship is always a feat of imagination, planning, engineering, logistics, administration and sheer hard work.

On behalf of the Royal Australian Navy, I thank all those teams of skilled and dedicated people who have contributed to the build, construction, integration of parts, and delivery, from keel‐laying to launch.

Today is a credit to each of you.

When Supply, and her sister ship, Stalwart, whose keel is to be laid tomorrow, enter service from 2020, they will provide afloat logistics support to Fleet units, and be an important part of the Australian Navy’s future fleet.

Their role will be to provide combat support via underway replenishment and transfer to deliver bulk fuels, potable water, stores, victuals, cargo and explosive ordnance to naval surface combatants, amphibious ships, auxiliaries and minor war vessels operating away from shore infrastructure support.

Speech – Part 2

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 Supply’s Ship’s Sponsor, Mrs Jenny Barrett.

Jenny’s contributions to the Australian Navy, together with her husband, Tim’s, service as Chief of Navy, made her a fitting choice for Ship’s Sponsor of the Navy's newest Auxiliary Oiler Replenishment.

As Ship’s Sponsor, Jenny will have an important and perpetual role in the life of the ship.

Jenny, I now invite you to the podium.