HMAS Adelaide, second Australian LHD (photo : RAN)
Dress rehearsals have started for the commissioning of NUSHIP Adelaide this Friday, as the second Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) prepares to enter service with the Royal Australian Navy.
The 400 crew members of the Amphibious Assault Ship are readying themselves for the historic occasion.
Leading Seaman Electronics Technician Hamish Donaldson, whose primary role involves looking after Adelaide’s radars and navigation equipment, will be part of the guard and says he is looking forward to commissioning the ship.
“It’s a pretty big honour, I was part of HMAS Betano’s decommissioning crew, but this is the first one I’ve commissioned. It’ll be good to get up there,” Leading Seaman Donaldson said.
“Moving from a Landing Craft Heavy (LCH) to a LHD has been pretty interesting. The smaller ships are a little less formal than the majors, but I’m part of a great department. The whole crew is pretty amazing so I’m really happy.”
Able Seaman Electronics Technician Corrine Gordon, who is experiencing her first trained billet on Adelaide, says while it’s been busy preparing for commissioning, she is excited.
“I posted to Adelaide in November last year as a combat systems operator. Over the last year it has been pretty busy getting ready. It’s really exciting that this commissioning is finally happening,” Able Seaman Gordon said.
“I’ve got my family coming up from Melbourne for the Commissioning. They’re pretty excited and it means a lot to me too. I have a 12 year old sister who will be in the audience, so hopefully we’ll get her interested in the Navy.”
Adelaide is the second of two Landing Helicopter Docks (LHDs) to be commissioned and marks the transformation of Australian Defence Force capability. She joins her sister ship Canberra in service.
The LHDs will be employed in different roles and can be configured to suit different missions. The world class amphibious capability can undertake a broad spectrum of operations from humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, security and stability operations across the Indo-Pacific region, to defence of the nation.
Adelaide can embark, transport and deploy an embarked force along with their equipment and aviation units. More than 1,000 embarked forces can be landed ashore by brand new landing craft, helicopters, or a combination of both. She has a medical facility equipped with two operating theatres, an eight bed Critical Care Unit, and a variety of wards. In addition, the medical facility has dedicated areas to accommodate pathology and radiology services, x-ray, pharmacy and dental facilities.