The City of Greater Geraldton has been announced as the ceremonial home port of Navy’s newest ship, HMAS Stalwart.
CAPTION: The crew of HMAS Stalwart line the ship’s upper decks during its commissioning ceremony at Fleet Base West, Rockingham. Story by Lieutenant Gary McHugh. Photo by Leading Seaman Richard Cordell.
Stalwart, commissioned into service on November 13, is Navy’s second auxiliary oiler replenishment ship, joining HMAS Supply, which was commissioned earlier this year.
Commanding OfficerStalwart Commander Steve McCracken said his ship’s company was proud to be part of the continuing relationship between the Royal Australian Navy and the City of Greater Geraldton.
“The naming of Geraldton as the ceremonial home port of Stalwart formalises a three-way partnership between the ship, the City of Greater Geraldton and the Yamatji peoples,” Commander McCracken said.
“The Royal Australian Navy has a proud and long-established connection with Geraldton and we look forward to building on that relationship over the coming years.”
The City of Greater Geraldton Mayor Shane Van Styn said the partnership presented ongoing outcomes for the community and strengthens the relationship between the city and Navy.
“This partnership is a historical occasion for Greater Geraldton and we take pride in being named a ceremonial home port for Stalwart,” he said.
“Given our rich naval history, it is a privilege to strengthen our ties with the Navy and create a life-long bond with Stalwart and its personnel.”
Geraldton is home to a memorial that commemorates the battle between HMAS Sydney II and German Raider Kormoran, which took place off the coast in 1941 – both ships were sunk as a result of the battle, with Sydney losing all hands in the action.
Stalwart is the second of two Supply-class auxiliary oiler replenishment ships purchased for the RAN.
The ships will deliver a significantly enhanced capability to the fleet, providing logistics support to naval combat units at sea – they will extend the time a task group can spend at sea, allowing them to travel further, for longer.
Stalwart will operate out of Fleet Base West, Rockingham, while Supply is based at Fleet Base East, Sydney.
Stalwart will now undergo a number of sea trials to integrate her in the fleet.