HMAS Rankin awarded Gloucester Cup

HMAS Rankin has been awarded the prestigious Duke of Gloucester Cup in recognition of the highest level of proficiency of a Navy unit in 2023.

CAPTIONCommanding Officer HMAS Rankin Commander Simon O’Hehir holds the Gloucester Cup, accompanied by Commander of the Australian Fleet Rear Admiral Chris Smith and Governor of South Australia Frances Adamson. Story by Lieutenant Commander Andrew Ragless. Photo by Petty Officer Luke Scott.

The award was presented to the Collins-class submarine crew by South Australian Governor Frances Adamson, joined by Commander Australian Fleet Rear Admiral Chris Smith, at the ASC shipyard in South Australia.

Rear Admiral Smith said the men and women of Rankin demonstrated a high degree of enthusiasm and professionalism.

“Their commitment to safety has not only safeguarded their own wellbeing, but ensured the continued effectiveness of the systems and equipment under their care,” he said.

“Throughout their program, Rankin maximised their availability and demonstrated unparalleled lethality.”

In the past 12 months, the submarine conducted two collective training periods, participated in Exercise Black Carillon, hosted the US Navy’s Submarine Command Course and supported HMAS Waller’s training period, as well as meeting several AUKUS commitments.

Rankin also conducted numerous heavyweight torpedo firings and was a target for further weapons, including torpedo countermeasure manoeuvre tactical development.

Commanding Officer Rankin Commander Simon O’Hehir said it was an honour to receive the award on behalf of Rankin’s officers and sailors.

“I was already sure I was lucky enough to be the commanding officer of the best submarine and an amazing crew,” he said.

“It’s nice that this has been recognised by others.

“The award is also recognition that the Collins-class submarine, despite its age, is still a potent and lethal weapon in the hands of Australian officers and sailors and will be for some time.

“It also takes a lot more than a crew of 60 to keep the submarine running and our families are the biggest support. Without them we can’t go to sea and do our jobs.”

Leading Seaman James said a highlight for the year was an exercise with nuclear-powered submarine USS Asheville.

“We had the opportunity to do narrowband submarine tracking over long periods of time with Asheville,” he said.

Rankin’s crew are self-driven to demand excellence from ourselves and each other all while maintaining a sense of humour.

“We have developed strong friendships on board that get you through long and challenging deployments.”

The Duke of Gloucester Cup was first instituted in 1946 when Prince Henry, the Duke of Gloucester, presented a silver cup to the RAN as a prize for the ship that shot down the greatest number of sleeve targets during a calendar year.

More recently, the cup has been awarded as a prize for the unit that excels in all aspects of their tasking, including mission effectiveness, lethality, safety, reliability, efficiency, currency and competency.

CAPTIONHMAS Rankin at sea during 2021. Photo by Petty Officer Yuri Ramsey.


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