Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Tim Barrett, has led commemorations across the globe to mark the Royal Australian Navy’s 115th birthday.
Vice Admiral Barrett reflected on the nation’s maritime tradition and spoke of significant changes ahead at a service at the Royal Australian Navy Memorial in Canberra.
Legislation establishing the Royal Commonwealth Naval Force was passed eight weeks after Federation on 1 January 1901 which marked the first Commonwealth nation to create its own navy.
Vice Admiral Barrett said the modern Navy maintains a proud tradition of service and is among one of the most capable in the world.
“On any given day, more than 700 Navy personnel are assigned to operations in Australian and international waters alongside those others who continue training to fight and win at sea,” Vice Admiral Barrett said.
“Today is a day for our personnel and the nation to look back on our proud history, remember those lost and wounded in service of their nation and cast our eyes forward to a bright future, with the most comprehensive regeneration of our Navy since WWII as part of the 2016 Defence White Paper.
“Our new capabilities, talented personnel and committed public service staff are the critical bits and pieces that come together each day to safeguard the peace of our maritime nation.”
The Royal title was bestowed on the Australian Navy 1911 and has continued to prove its ability to defend Australia and its interests, contribute to maritime security in the region, and maintain a commitment to fight and win at sea.
Today, the Navy has a ship deployed to maritime security operations in the Middle East region, vessels assigned to border operations in Australian waters while concurrently introducing a number of new capabilities as part of significant modernisation program.
In recognition of the significant milestone, the Navy’s flag, the Australian White Ensign, will replace the Australian National Flag flying from the Canadian Flagpole at Regatta Point in Canberra between 8am and sunset.
Media Note: Historic and current imagery of Navy activities is available at http://images.defence.gov.au/S20160272.
Media contact: Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999.