USS Canberra personnel welcomed the company of their sister ship, HMAS Canberra, on board for a tour while the ship was alongside Fleet Base East in Sydney, ahead of its commissioning ceremony.
CAPTION: HMAS Canberra guides USS Canberra through Sydney Heads. Story by Lieutenant Harrison Thomas. Photo by Able Seaman Benjamin Ricketts.
From the moment the ADF members stepped on board the Independence-variant littoral combat ship, there was a clear connection between the two crews.
Commanding Officer HMAS Canberra Captain Brendan O’Hara said there was “an automatic bond as mariners” between the ships’ crews.
This mateship is strengthened by the history behind the name that connects the ships.
The first USS Canberra was named by US President Franklin D. Roosevelt in honour of the Australian heavy cruiser HMAS Canberra and its courageous actions during the Battle of Savo Island.
This history resonates with the ships’ companies, including USS Canberra Mineman 1st Class Grant Meier and HMAS Canberra’s Sub-Lieutenant Alexandra Gray.
CAPTION: United States Navy Mineman 2nd Class Grant Meier (right) and Seaman Boatswain Mate Jeremy Nunn on the bridge of USS Canberra. Photo by Leading Seaman Matthew Lyall.
“There’s a lot of history in it,” Mineman 1st Class Meier said.
“The original Canberra fought alongside us, helped us out, protected us.
“Now we’re here commissioning USS Canberra alongside the Royal Australian Navy. It really does speak to how close our two countries are.”
Sub-Lieutenant Gray said crew on HMAS Canberra knewthe history of their ship.
“Having other nations recognise that history is really special. Sharing the name of a ship is also a great conversation starter,” she said.
Ahead of the commissioning, the crew of HMAS Canberra and USS Canberra played sports and shared their countries’ culture and traditions.
CAPTION:United States Navy Mineman 2nd Class Andrew Green exchanges ships’ patches with Seaman Electronic Warfare Lewis Kilkolly on the quarterdeck of USS Canberra. Photo by Leading Seaman Matthew Lyall.