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USS John S. McCain visits Australia for Great White Fleet centenary visit.



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THE HON JOEL FITZGIBBON MP Minister for Defence

www.defence.gov.au

Wednesday, 20 August 2008 102/2008

USS JOHN S. McCAIN VISITS AUSTRALIA FOR GREAT WHITE FLEET CENTENARY VISIT

The Minister for Defence, the Hon. Joel Fitzgibbon MP, will today attend an official reception onboard the USS John S. McCain hosted by Robert D. McCallum Jr, the United States Ambassador to Australia and Commander Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Nigel Coates, AM RAN, to mark the centenary of the ‘Great White Fleet’ visit.

"We are delighted and honoured to host the USS John S. McCain and her crew during their visit to Australia, just as our forefathers did 100 years ago. This visit serves to further strengthen the close ties our nations enjoy," Mr

Fitzgibbon said.

Also in attendance, is the Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Russ Crane, AM CSM RAN, and a host of dignitaries.

The Royal Australian Navy is playing host to the United States Navy to mark the centenary of one of the most celebrated naval voyages of modern times.

The original ‘Great White Fleet’ was sent around the world by President Theodore Roosevelt and the voyage was undertaken from 16 December 1907 to 22 February 1909 by sixteen new battleships, painted white, from the

Atlantic Fleet.

The Australian leg of the journey includes visits to Sydney, Melbourne, and Albany with Her Majesty's Australian ships Darwin and Sirius acting as escorts throughout the visit.

“The Royal Australian Navy is thrilled to be part of this historic voyage and the crew look forward to showing our American friends the best Australia has to offer as we visit Sydney, Melbourne and Albany,” Commander Craig Powell, RAN the Commanding Officer of HMAS Darwin.

The USS John S. McCain, an Arleigh Burke Class Destroyer, is named after the father and grandfather of the current United States presidential candidate John S. McCain. Of note, John S. McCain Sr visited Australia in 1908 as part

of the Great White Fleet whilst serving in the battleship USS Connecticut.

HMAS Darwin is an Adelaide Class Frigate and HMAS Sirius is a Sirius Class Auxiliary Oiler.

Media contacts: Jack Smith (Joel Fitzgibbon): 02 6277 7800 or 0408 116 423 Defence Media Liaison: 02 6265 3343 or 0408 498 664