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Commissioning of landing craft



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DEFENCE PR No. 11/75

IP erf' COMMISSIONING OF LANDING CRAFT.' (Statement by the Minister for Defence, Mr. L. H. Barnard") C

. The RAN will receive its first landing craft since

World War II when HMAS BRUNEI is. commissioned into the Navy at

a ceremony at Maryborough, Queensland, on January 5·

Barnard,said the full ceremonial commissioning of the Army-

support· craft would be attended by the Flag Officer Commanding

East Australia Area,' Rear-Admiral W.D.H. Graham, and the General

Officer Commanding Northern Command, Major-General A.L. MacDonald,

Monsignor G.S. Lake, would conduct the service. Members: of

Parliament, civic dignitaries and other guests would attend the

commissioning.

Built by Walkers Limited, Maryborough, BRUNEI

successfully completed s:ea trials, shortly before Christinas.

She would be the first of eight landing craft heavy

(LCH) to be commissioned into the First Australian Landing Craft

Squadron.

The prototype of the squadron, BALIKPAPAN, underwent

joint RAN/Army evaluation trials this year.

Mr. Barnard said that between March and December, 1973»

six more Maryborough-built LCH would be commissioned. BALIKPAPAN

would be manned by the Army until she is commissioned into the .

Squadron in mid-1974. ·

officers and 111 sailors and would be used mainly to provide sea­

borne support for the Army. One would normally be used for

support of RAN hydrographic surveys.

The 146ft, 310-ton craft, about the size of the present

RAN mine-countermeasures ships, would be able to carry up to three

Centurion tanks- at a time.

The vessels: would be named after amphibious operations

in which the RAN and Army were associated during World War II -

BALIKPAPAN, BRUNEI, LABUAN, TARAKAN, WEWAK, SALAMAUA., BUNA and

BETANO.

The RAN establishment HMAS MORETON on the- Brisbane

River was being developed as the base for the squadron.

Announcing this today the Minister for Defence,Mr.

The recently retired Senion Chaplain of the RAN,

The eight sea-going craft are each to be manned by two