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A MUSICAL VOYAGE - Royal Australian Navy

A MUSICAL VOYAGE - Royal Australian Navy

- 204 – I recently

- 204 – I recently announced the names of the 17 musicians selected to form the Navy Band contingent for the Gallipoli Pilgrimage at Anzac Cove in 2010 and the 45 musicians who will participate in the Edinburg Military Tattoo in Sydney in February 2010. I was very please to be able to include a mix of permanent and reserve musicians in these key opportunities. I also announced the names of the 20 musicians earmarked for the Sea Deployment Group during 2010. These musicians will embark in HMA Ships Newcastle and Kanimbla for Exercise RIMPAC 2010, and will have a mix of additional roles including as members of the Ship’s Medical Emergency Teams and Flight Deck Teams. The musicians embarked in Newcastle will also visit Japan and Canada. I am acutely aware that these sea deployments are not high within the set of needs and aspiration of our people. However, the Sea Deployment Group continues to form a key component of our contribution to Navy and future as an organisation. I remain grateful to all of the musicians (80% of the permanent force) who have now served at sea, as well as to the 20 who will deploy next year; and I wish them the best of good luck for a safe and positive experience at sea. There can be no doubt that, despite the ever-present budgetary challenges, we continue to deliver very effective and efficient services: I believe that our band has given Navy its best effort. I am also convinced that through our very experienced group of officers and senior sailors, we have delivered our people a very high level of professional care and support. I know that there is likely to be a mix of views on my assertion in relation to output and professional care; but I see the constant flow of requests for periods of absences from workplace duties that are supported by the senior leaders along with the volumes of letters of appreciation and positive feedback. So I can confidently state that we are doing our very best to balance the needs of one and other with the requirements of Navy. Our band holds a strong position of trust and esteem within Navy, Defence and the wider community; and this has not been achieved by goodwill alone or the collective efforts of each detachment. In particular, I wish to acknowledge our four Lieutenant Band Officers who are moving to other positions within the band next year. Lieutenant Commander Paul Cottier is posting back to the Defence Force School of Music, Lieutenant Steven Stanke is moving to the Sydney detachment, Lieutenant Andrew Stokes is back to the Assistant Director’s position and Lieutenant Matthew Klohs is off to the Melbourne detachment. Each of them has provided forthright advice and feedback to me and fulfilled their responsibilities in a highly commendable and professional manner. They deserve our collective vote of thanks. To each and everyone; thank you for the valuable contribution that you make in telling the story of the Navy Band and continuing the band’s proud record of service to the nation. NORTHERN TRIDENT (SECOND LEG) Article by Able Seaman Paul Parnell As part of a crew change out half-way through Northern Trident 2009, I departed Sydney with Leading Seaman Lachlan Macfie, Able Seaman Chris Ellis and Able Seaman Volka Schoeler in company with around forty other sailor’s bound for Nova Scotia. While our C- 130 Hercules transport was not what we had originally in mind, the five-day journey over the Pacific Ocean gave us ample time to bond with the new crew as we enjoyed leisurely stop-over’s in West Samoa, Hawaii, and the massive Travis Air Force Base in California. Our ‘bugler’s holiday’ was soon to end after a day of time zone recovery in Halifax, when we reunited with our musician colleagues who were already embarked in HMAS Sydney. After two long days of settling into messes and getting up to speed on FFG damage control, we soon found our way to what would be the our most utilised areas; the galley, starboard hanger, and the smokers pit on 02 Deck! Once underway, it was only two sleeps until we were sailing into New York to our dock near 46 th Street, Manhattan, in company with HMAS Ballarat and USS Mahan. The entry was truly magnificent; the Statue of Liberty and ceremonial tugboats set a colourful back drop for the rock band as we played through a variety of iconic Aussie hits on the fo’c’sle. The importance of our mission was soon apparent when guests from the United Nations Headquarters, Military officials, and various International Ambassadors were ushered aboard. Our first gig in New York City was the first of many high level cocktail parties and Beat to Quarters events during our part of the deployment. Royal Australian Navy Band: A Musical Voyage

- 205 – On day two, our friends from the United States Navy Band (Rhode Island) joined us for two sets of jazz and rock in the middle of Times Square. A memorable gig and one which has given us the opportunity to now claim that we have played a jazz gig in New York City. Most significantly, Able Seaman Chris Ellis performed the Last Post at a Ground Zero memorial, which was a very moving and solemn occasion. From New York City we travelled down the East coast, frequently stopping to provide a ceremonial platform for extending Australian diplomacy and trade. This was a busy leg of the band’s journey, however, we still found time to visit Washington DC whilst alongside at Baltimore and combined with the United States Navy Band at Norfolk Navy Base for a twilight concert on Virginia Beach. With multiple stops and only two or three night journeys between cities we soon began to tire and our wallets became considerably lighter, even given the generous exchange rate. Nonetheless, we maintained a constant vigil in the ship’s scullery and laundry and demonstrated the highest standards of signature behaviours in the performance of our ancillary duties. After some well-deserved rest in Nassau Bahamas and a steady diet of Jerk Chicken and battered conch, we sailed through Panama Canal en route to San Diego, burritos and nachos. We kept the onset of homesickness at bay with some retail therapy at the massive Naval Exchange and sightseeing around Old Town and the Mexican Border on the trolley car. With the silhouette of nearly a hundred grey gladiators behind us, we departed San Diego homeward bound. Even after such a terrific US experience, it was comforting to return to the Pacific Ocean once again, heading to our last ports of Hawaii and Samoa. As always, the United States Pacific Fleet Band gave us a warm welcome in Pearl Harbour with many of their members attending our concert in the beach precinct and later taking us to dinner at Waikiki Beach. The next morning we combined with our American friends to perform a memorial service on USS Missouri. With the band assembled under the main forward turrets, we listened to a recording of the surrender ceremony in 1945 that took place on that very spot, before performing some of Sousa’s best for the crowd of veterans. This would be out final gig on American soil, and a memorable one at that. After a shortened stop in Apia to refuel, and de-ammunitioning at Eden, we returned home to Fleet Base East on 19 September after six months for ‘full trippers’ and three months for us ‘change-outs’. It had been a whirlwind voyage and a great opportunity to represent our band and expose our musical talents abroad. Leaving the less attractive aspects of shipborne life aside, it was certainly an honour to sail in HMAS Sydney for such a significant deployment. SEA DEPLOYMENT GROUP HMAS DARWIN Article by Petty Officer Mark Ham With a disrupted preparation due to last minute personnel changes, six members of the Royal Australian Navy Band—Leading Seaman Gordon Orr, Able Seaman Stuart Malcolm, Able Seaman Chris Thompson, Able Seaman Marcus Salone and Seaman Paul Stiles—embarked in HMAS Darwin to be part of the ship’s South East Asian Deployment visiting ports in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam. Our workload was confined to Ceremonial Sunsets performed onboard the ship in each port visited (six in all). Each was well received by our hosts and members of ship’s company. The highlight of the tour was playing to children from an orphanage in Cambodia. Through the power of music we were able to transcend the language and cultural boundaries and make the kids’ day a special one. Members of the Sea Deployment Group also assisted in ‘odd jobs’ around the orphanage to fix up basic facilities: such as mosquito nets on beds for the children. Another highlight was our performance at the cultural display at the opening of exercise Bersama Lima 2009. Of the seven nations involved with the exercise, each provided a group to give a demonstration of their culture to all the Officers and Sailors participating. Our performance of a mixture of the traditional Beat to Quarters, Brass Quintet and Rock music was the most enthusiastically received of all the groups. Royal Australian Navy Band: A Musical Voyage

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