New beginnings for new patrol boat

ADV Cape Pillar and its crew were officially welcomed to their home port of HMAS Coonawarra with a ceremony conducted at Larrakeyah Defence Precinct.

CAPTIONCaptain Richard Brickacek, front left, Midshipman Rhys Williams and Commanding Officer ADV Cape Pillar Lieutenant Commander Liam McMahon cut a homeporting cake at Larrakeyah Officers’ Mess, Darwin. Photos by Leading Seaman Ernesto Sanchez.

The crew of Cape Pillar were led by Commanding Officer Lieutenant Commander Liam McMahon in parade past reviewing officer Captain Richard Brickacek on January 19.

The event marked new beginnings for Cape Pillar and Captain Brickacek – one of the first official engagements conducted by the crew of Cape Pillar and the first ADV homeporting for Captain Brickacek in his new role as Commander Mine Warfare, Clearance Diving, Hydrographic, Meteorological, Oceanographic and Patrol Force.

The crew of Cape Pillar completed three months of training while based at HMAS Stirling and returned to Darwin in December 2023.

Able Seaman Tyler Cook said it was good to be back.

“After an intense period leading up to this point, I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished as a crew and looking forward to what we can go on to achieve now we are back in Darwin,” Able Seaman Cook said.

Cape Pillar is the sixth Evolved Cape-class patrol boat to be accepted into service. The patrol boats support constabulary missions, maritime patrol and response duties alongside Australian Border Force vessels, other ADF units and other regional partners.

The six Evolved Capes in service will be joined by a further two this year, as part of the transition in patrol capability, moving from the Armidale-class patrol boats to the offshore patrol vessels.

Lieutenant Commander McMahon said there were lots of people to thank for getting the boat to this point.

“Today is about recognising the efforts of not just the Pillar crew, but also everyone who has helped the ship get to this milestone and, most importantly, recognise the unwavering support from our family and loved ones which has been crucial in getting through the challenges we faced as a crew,” Lieutenant Commander McMahon said.

Cape Pillar is named after the south eastern tip of Tasmania and has a ceremonial home port of Nubeena, Tasmania.

Its crest encompasses a defining image of its namesake landscape – a large dolerite pillar – which stands stoically and resolutely in spite of the harsh elements of the Tasman Sea, allowing any who stand upon it a clear view to “look forward” to the seas and oceans beyond.

CAPTIONCommander Mine Warfare, Clearance Diving, Hydrographic, Meteorological, Oceanographic and Patrol Force Captain Richard Brickacek, right, presents Commanding Officer ADV Cape Pillar Lieutenant Commander Liam McMahon with the ship’s funnel ensignia at Larrakeyah Defence Precinct.


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