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Presentation of the Duke of Gloucester's Cup to HMAS Arunta, Garden Island, WA


I acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which we meet, the Whadjuk People of the Noongar Nation, and pay my respects to their elders, past and present, emerging leaders and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders gathered here today.

Good morning.

Linda and I are delighted to be with you on this significant occasion in the life of HMAS Arunta.

Arunta is the winner of the Duke of Gloucester’s Cup – one of the Navy’s most prestigious awards.

As you know, the award was created by former Governor-General the Duke of Gloucester in 1946 to recognise excellence in all aspects of operations, safety, reliability and unit-level training.

It is a proud moment for all associated with Arunta – the Ship’s Company, her former crew (some of whom are here today), and of course the families of all Navy personnel who quietly but steadfastly support their loved ones.

All share in today’s celebrations.

A little over two weeks ago at the Centenary of the Royal Australian Air Force event in Canberra, I said that it is the people, not the equipment, that have built the RAAF.

Nine days ago at the commissioning of HMAS Supply (II) I said the same is so very true of the Royal Australian Navy.

And I say it again today to you, the Ship’s Company of HMAS Arunta: it is you who have applied yourselves to the tasks asked of you and you have delivered in spades.

This is directly attributable to the expert seamanship of the Ship’s Company. I acknowledge and recognise the outstanding efforts of Commanding Officer, Commander Tony Nagle, and particularly 2020 CO Captain Troy Duggan who is with us today.

By any measure, HMAS Arunta has met all expectations.

Arunta has had an outstanding year, capped off by her support of the ADF’s commitment in the South China Sea to the international effort to enforce UN Security Council sanctions on North Korea.

In 2019, she became the first of the Anzac-class frigates to be upgraded with the new CEAFAR L-Band radar.

In early 2020 she was tasked with testing the new capability, including the tracking of fast jets and an Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile firing.

The second half of 2020 saw Arunta on a six-month deployment: A Rim of the Pacific exercise off Hawaii, which included two Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile firings and support as Anti-Submarine Warfare Commander for the US Submarine Command Course; and a Pacific Vanguard Exercise off Guam, focusing on integration and interoperability between the US Navy, Republic of Korea Navy, and the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force.

HMAS Arunta demonstrated a consistently high level of proficiency in all activities.

I congratulate all on parade today and thank all those who helped arrange this event.

To the crew and all involved in HMAS Arunta – enjoy today’s celebration. The Royal Australian Navy is a Service built on courage, respect, integrity and excellence. You are worthy recipients of the Royal Australian Navy’s prestigious Duke of Gloucester’s Cup. Congratulations. It’s a great Navy day and, today, you are the pride of the fleet.

Fair winds and following seas.

Bravo Zulu.

It is now my great pleasure to present the Duke of Gloucester’s Cup to Commanding Officer Nagle and HMAS Arunta.