Fleet Divisions were held on the flight deck of HMAS Adelaide, alongside Garden Island, Sydney on 24 March 2016.
The Royal Australian Navy band and a guard marched onto the flightdeck, while over 1,000 personnel from HMA Ships Kuttabul, Adelaide, Success, Melbourne, Warramunga and Newcastle formed into platoons.
Following divisions, General Cosgrove presented the Gloucester Cup for 2015 to HMAS Melbourne.
The Duke of Gloucester’s Cup was instituted in 1946 when His Royal Highness the Duke of Gloucester presented a silver cup to the Royal Australian Navy as a prize for the ship which shot down the greatest number of sleeve targets, in proportion to the number of rounds fired, during a calendar year.
Such a competition proved to be impracticable and consequently the cup has traditionally been awarded as a prize for the RAN unit displaying the highest level of overall proficiency.
The first RAN major fleet unit to be awarded the prize was HMAS Hobart (I) in 1947. The first submarine to win the coveted award was HMAS Onslow in 1977 while in 2011, RAN Clearance Diving Team 4 wrested the cup from the fleet to become the first Clearance Diving Team to be awarded the prestigious award.
Several RAN units have won the cup multiple times, notably HMAS Hobart (II) which took the prize on eight separate occasions during her long commission. Others have won the award in successive years – HMA Ships Quadrant, Vampire (II), Sydney (III), Hobart (II) and Darwin.
It was Melbourne’s second time winning, after also taking the prize in 2010.
On those occasions when a fleet unit wins the award a five pointed gold star is painted in a prominent position on the vessel concerned in recognition of the achievement. The star is removed only when the award is won by another RAN unit.
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