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    USS Canberra Commissions Down Under in Sydney

    USS Canberra Visits Namesake City

    Photo By Chief Petty Officer Mark Faram | 230723-N-NT811-1002 CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA (July 23, 2023) Cdr. Will Ashley, and Cdr....... read more read more

    SYDNEY — The Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Canberra (LCS 30) commissioned at the Royal Australian Navy’s Fleet Base East in Sydney, Australia, July 22.

    Canberra departed her homeport of Naval Base San Diego for the first U.S. Navy ceremonial commissioning in Australia June 13, visiting Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, along with American Samoa and the Pacific Island Nation of Fiji prior to arriving in Sydney for commissioning July 16.

    It’s quite uncommon for a U.S. Navy vessel to travel so far for its commissioning ceremony, but for the ship and crew, the 13,000 nautical mile roundtrip was a significant accomplishment.

    “This crew is ready for what’s ahead of them and they’ve worked hard to get themselves and the ship to the point of being able to accomplish a journey not normally attempted by crews and ships at this point in their development,” said Cmdr. Will Ashley, commanding officer of Canberra’s Blue Crew as the journey began. “The first crew of a ship establishes the culture that will last a long time, I just hope I can build on that.”

    During the ceremony, leaders and distinguished guests from the U.S. and Australia wished the crew of Canberra fair winds and following seas as they brought the ship to life and began its commissioned service.

    "This truly is a special occasion for our fleet and our Nation to be here with you in Australia, one of our closest allies, to celebrate the commissioning of our Navy’s newest warship that is destined to serve throughout the Indo-Pacific region," said Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro during the ceremony. "I am confident that wherever USS Canberra is sailing, and whatever challenges her crew may face, they are ready, as reinforced by this warship’s motto — 'Can Do!'"

    Throughout the week, Sailors from USS Canberra engaged in sporting events, shared meals, and exchanged ship tours with the crew of HMAS Canberra. When the ship came to life during the ceremony, crewmembers from both ships ran up the brow to man the rails in a show of unity. “Today marks a proud moment which our Royal Australian Navy is privileged to share alongside our allies and friends in the United States Navy,” said Australian Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Mark Hammond. “The connection between our navies, forged in battle during the Second World War, is reflected in the name USS Canberra.”

    Ashley agreed, calling it the honor of a lifetime to participate in all the events that celebrated the ship’s formal entry into the fleet.

    “It’s always nice to have something to rally around and we have the rich history of our namesake, both HMAS and USS Canberra, both of those ships were heroes. I think it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to celebrate their history while also creating our own history,” Ashley said. “I also think it’s a good message
    to both the crew and our nation about how important our allies are.”

    The crews of both ships were also honored with a visit to their namesake city, Canberra, for a Freedom of Entry march on July 23. The tradition of Freedom of Entry dates to medieval times and is the highest accolade bestowed by a town or city upon a group or individual as a reflection of trust and confidence held by the citizens towards those being honored.

    During one long day in the Australian capital city, both crews not only marched through the streets,but also participated in a wreath-laying,
    and as the day ended werehonored at a twilight “Last Post Ceremony” at the Australian War Memorial.

    Canberra is the second U.S. Navy ship named for Australia’s capital. The first, a Baltimore-class heavy cruiser, was renamed from Pittsburgh to Canberra on October 16, 1942, and was commissioned on October 14, 1943. It was named in honor of the Australian heavy cruiser HMAS Canberra, which was lost at the Battle of Savo Island in World War II. The ship was decommissioned on February 2, 1970, and was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on July 31, 1978.



    Date Taken: 07.24.2023
    Date Posted: 12.31.2023 21:56
    Story ID: 461152
    Location: US

    Web Views: 220
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