HMAS SIRIUS SHOWS OFF AT SAIL MOROTAI 2012
18 September 2012 By LEUT Chris Harvey and SBLT Jai Coppen
Sail Morotai bares the backdrop of HMAS Sirius.
HMAS Sirius showed off her might in the recent ‘Sail Morotai’ deployment which, after a successful departure fromExercise KAKADU 2012, saw her transit from Darwin to the small island of Morotai, Indonesia.
Located in the North Maluku Province, Morotai is Indonesia’s northernmost island and home to a small population who, until now, were isolated from the Indonesian tourism industry.
Now in its 12th year, ‘Sail Indonesia’ is an initiative started by the Indonesian Government to increase tourism, investment and infrastructure construction throughout the area. Traditionally, Sail Indonesia’s yachts begin their voyage in Darwin, NT and navigate through the Indonesian Archipelago to a chosen destination. Sail Morotai saw skippers from Australia, New Zealand, USA, UK, Sweden, France, Germany, Italy and Switzerland pass through one of two routes arriving in Morotai on 15 September 2012.
Sirius was at anchor and staged the backdrop to the main event which was opened by the Indonesian President, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. Approximately 5,000 guests, including foreign sailors, were expected to attended the international sailing event which began with the sail past of Warships from Indonesia, Singapore and the United States Navy.
Prior to proceeding to anchor Sirius’ Ship’s Company proceeded ashore to experience the cultural banquet that is Morotai. They were greeted by locals in a somewhat celebrity reception. The Naval Attaché Jakarta, supported by the Ship’s Company, donated education resources and sporting equipment to local schools. The crew of Sirius also raised the money to send two Morotai children to school for one year.
At anchor Sirius Ship’s Company Manned Ship and cheered for Indonesia as the first Indonesian Warship passed. The Australian Naval Attaché Jakarta, CAPT K. Bizilj, RAN reported that the Indonesian President was very pleased and grateful of Sirius’ participation.
Morotai is known for its involvement in WWII being occupied by both Allied and Enemy forces. It is in Morotai where General MacArthur extended his sphere of control for his campaign in the Pacific. HMA Ships Manoora (I), Kanimbla (I)and Westralia (I), all former merchant cruisers, were converted to Landing Ships Infantry and took part in the amphibious operations which brought the Allies closer to the Philippines.
15th September 2012, the day of the sail past, marked the 68th anniversary of the landings. It is safe to assume that warships present at Sail Morotai 2012 may well have been the largest naval show since 1944.
|Commanding Officer||Commander Brian Delamont|
|Classification||Replenishment Oiler (AOR)|
|Based||Fleet Base West|
|Named||8 October 2004|
|Builder||Hyundai Mipo Dockyard|
|Commissioned||16 September 2006|
The Royal Australian Navy's afloat support capability is provided by the underway replenishment ships HMAS Sirius and HMASSuccess. The Afloat Support Force provides operational support for the rest of the fleet by providing fuel, stores and ammunition, thus significantly extending the RAN's operational reach and endurance at sea. It can also provide limited support to deployed Army and Air Force units.
HMAS Sirius was built as a double-hulled commercial product tanker, MV Delos and purchased by the Commonwealth Government on 3 June 2004. Named Sirius, the ship underwent modification for underway replenishment. In addition, a flight deck was fitted for helicopter operations.
The ship can carry over 34,806 cz (cubic metres) of fuel including 5,486 cz (cubic metres) of aviation fuel for use by RANhelicopters. Sirius can replenish ships at sea by day and night, and is capable of replenishing two ships at a time. She has transfer points for fuel, water and stores.
Sirius is the first RAN ship to carry this name, however HMS Sirius (I) was commissioned into the Royal Navy in 1780 as the flagship of the 'First Fleet'. The name was selected because of its historical connections with the First Fleet and the import role the ship played in providing logistic support to the struggling economy. Her motto is "to serve and provide".
HMAS Success, based on the French 'Durance' Class Ship was built in Australia by Cockatoo Dockyard Pty Ltd at Sydney, New South Wales. She was launched from their slipway on 03 March 1984 by her launching Lady, Her Excellency Lady Stephen, wife of the then Governor General of Australia and commissioned into the Royal Australian Navy on 23 April 1986. She is the largest ship built in Australia for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and also the largest ever built in the port of Sydney.