The Royal Australian Navy and Bega Valley Shire Council have announced the Port of Eden will be the ceremonial home port for the yet to be commissioned ship, HMAS Supply (II). HMAS Supply is the lead ship of two Supply Class Auxiliary Oiler Replenishment ships and will be commissioned in early 2021.
HMAS Supply will carry fuel, dry cargo, water, food, ammunition, equipment and spare parts for combat or deployed naval forces. The ship can also combat environmental pollution at sea, provide logistics support for the armed forces, and support humanitarian and disaster relief operations.
HMAS Adelaide provided aid to the Eden community after the Black Summer bushfires, and Bega Valley Shire Council Mayor Russell Fitzpatrick said the new relationship will cement the Royal Australian Navy’s presence in the area, and open opportunities for involvement in the community.
“The bond between the Port of Eden in the Bega Valley Shire and the Navy started with the Navy ammunition facility [which was] built more than a decade ago, and has grown closer during the recent bushfire crisis,” said HMAS Supply’s Commanding Officer Captain Ben Hissink.
“The Navy, through Supply, is committed to strengthening the bonds with the township of Eden, and looks forward to supporting and engaging with the local community.”
Mayor Fitzpatrick said it is a privilege and an honour for the Port of Eden to become the ceremonial homeport for Supply.
“The Eden community has already experienced the generosity of the Royal Australian Navy, especially when HMAS Adelaide provided support after the summer bushfires,” he said.
“More recently, Navy personnel from Supply donated memorabilia to the Eden Killer Whale Museum to complement the collection linked to the town’s long naval association.
“We look forward to a long, productive and prosperous relationship with the Supply captain and crew and look forward to the ship’s arrival in Eden early next year.”
During an official announcement ceremony, Supply unveiled its official mascot and branding, designed by local Indigenous artists Alison Simpson and Joe Stewart, and approved by Eden Local Aboriginal Land Council.
“The branding is a pivotal step in a crew-wide endeavour to ensure we meet the needs of a culturally inclusive and diverse workforce,” said Captain Hissink.
“We are excited to showcase our relationship with the wider Eden and local Indigenous communities through the whale mascot, representative of the animals closely connected to this area.”