The Royal Australian Navy has officially welcomed ADV Cape Fourcroy, the first of two Austal-built Cape Class Patrol Boats, with an ensign hoisting ceremony.
Commanding officer Cape Fourcroy Commander Mark Taylor ordered the crew to ‘cheer ship’ after a naming ceremony was held for the boat alongside Fleet Base West on May 1.
Chaplain Grant Ludlow provided the nautical blessing before Commander Taylor reflected on the past 16 months’ experience – from builder’s yard to sea trials.
“I have had the pleasure of being here for every sea trial that Cape Fourcroy has undertaken – she’s a good ship,” Commander Taylor said.
“She shares some similarities with her Armidale cousins but with a few improvements and specialised features that make them a good ship for the border protection role.”
The boat will be operated under full command of the Commander Australian Fleet and manned by two crews, ‘Port’ and ‘Starboard’, with one crew embarked and one disembarked at any given time contributing to the nation’s border protection operations.
Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, said the boats will supplement Navy’s existing Armidale Class Patrol Boats as the current fleet undergoes deep maintenance.
“For the last two years, Defence has been operating up to two Cape class boats on loan from Australian Border Force to allow Navy to continue to meet its operational commitments,” Minister Pyne said.
“The last loan vessel will shortly be returned to Australian Border Force and be replaced by two new Cape class boats which Defence will lease until 2020.”
The ship’s name originates from the cape located at the western tip of Bathurst Island, Northern Territory, Australia.
Cape Fourcroy will undertake integration training and sea assurance trials before being deployed to support border protection operations.
The second of the two vessels, Cape Inscription, will be received by Defence later this month.