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Army November 21, 2013
PERSONNEL from HMAS Choules'
Ship's Army Detachment complet-
ed their mission at Manus Island in
Papua New Guinea and sailed for
home on October 31.
Choules provided maritime support
to the Department of Immigration and
Border Protection's efforts to increase the
capacity of the facilities on the island.
Soldiers loaded and unloaded stores,
vehicles, equipment and personnel during
Choules has been anchored off Manus
Island since July.
CN VAdm Ray Griggs said the ship
provided a floating home to about 230
Australian Government personnel and ser-
vice providers working on Manus Island.
"Additionally, Choules' crew conduct-
ed a number of community engagement
activities to assist with maintenance of
community buildings," he said.
The ship's company of 132 includes
extra catering and health personnel
required for Australian Government and
service provider staff on board the ship.
About 230 civilian personnel were
embarked in Choules and personnel pro-
vided all passengers with thorough safety
and environmental induction training.
VAdm Griggs said the ADF demon-
strated it had a responsive and deployable
amphibious capability that would be fur-
ther enhanced with the introduction of the
Landing Helicopter Dock ships in 2014.
"The crew of Choules have done an
outstanding job in support of the other
government departments involved in this
operation," he said.
Leut Sarah Mills
SOLDIERS from HMAS Choules took
part in a memorial service on October
24 at a cemetery on Manus Island to
remember Australians who died there
The cemetery is located on Manus
Secondary School grounds, just inside
Lorengau township, formerly the site of
a WWII military HQ post.
Before the ceremony, Choules' com-
pany and the staff of Manus Secondary
School conducted maintenance of
the area and tidied grave sites under
the watchful eye of the ship's Army
Chaplain Sarah Gibson.
Chap Gibson and PNG Defence
Force Chap David Ndramen, of
Lombrum PNGDF Base, conducted
the ceremony, during which Choules'
soldiers and sailors laid floral arrange-
ments on the graves and paid tribute to
those who had fallen so many years ago.
"It was important for us as serving
ADF personnel to pay our respects to
those who served on Manus Island in
the past and to think of their families so
far away from where their loved ones
are buried," Chap Gibson said.
Boatswain's mate AB Callum
Cherry said he was pleased to take part
in the activity.
"It was good to be able to help out
and take care of the graves of those who
gave their lives during WWII," he said.
Leut Sarah Mills
SOLDIERS had the chance to undertake
height safety training on board HMAS
Choules while deployed in support of
David Thomas, of Fire and Safety
Australia, instructed personnel during two
working at heights courses and a two-day
tower rescue training course.
The courses gave personnel the knowl-
edge and skills to work safely at heights
and the rescue component trained partici-
pants to help a fallen worker using one-
on-one salvage techniques.
Not letting the height deter them, sol-
diers bravely took the leap from the aft
end of Choules' superstructure to practise
Sgt Geoff Coady, of the Ship's Army
Taking training to new heights
They gave their lives: Cpl Christopher Moore, Sgt Geoff Coady,
Cpl Jessielyn Arpon and Chap Sarah Gibson pay their respects at
the grave of a WWII soldier on Manus Island. Photos by Leut Sarah Mills
Detachment, said he benefited from the
"The training was great, it was a really
enjoyable course and I loved the practical
side of it," he said.
After the training, he said he was con-
fident he could rescue fellow shipmates
and would trust the others on the course to
Operation Landscape draws to a close
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