HMAS Stirling

HMAS Stirling is a Royal Australian Navy (RAN) base that is part of Fleet Base West situated on the west coast of Australia. The base is located on Garden Island in the state of Western Australia, near the city of Perth. Garden Island also has its own military airport on the island (ICAO: YGAD). HMAS Stirling is currently under the command of Captain Brian Delamont, RAN.

HMAS Stirling
Part of Fleet Base West
Garden Island, Western Australia in Australia
HMAS Stirling
Crest of HMAS Stirling
Coordinates32°14′30″S 115°41′00″E / 32.24167°S 115.68333°ECoordinates: 32°14′30″S 115°41′00″E / 32.24167°S 115.68333°E
TypeNaval base and military airport
Site information
OwnerDepartment of Defence
OperatorRoyal Australian Navy
Site history
Garrison information
Captain Brian Delamont, RAN
HMAS Stirling
Airport typeMilitary
OperatorRoyal Australian Navy
LocationGarden Island, Western Australia
Elevation AMSL30 ft / 9 m
YGAD is located in Western Australia
Location in Western Australia
Direction Length Surface
m ft
05/23 450 1,476 Asphalt
Sources: AIP[1]


HMAS Stirling is named after Admiral Sir James Stirling (28 January 1791 – 23 April 1865).[2] Stirling, a Royal Navy officer and colonial administrator, landed on Garden Island, Western Australia in 1827 and returned as commander of the barque Parmelia in June 1829 to establish and administer the Swan River Colony in Western Australia. He was the first Governor of Western Australia, serving between 1828 and 1838.[3]

The planning of Stirling began in 1969 when, after it was decided to create the Two-Ocean Policy, a feasibility study into the use of Garden Island as a naval base was begun. The 4.3 km (2.7 mi) causeway linking the island with the mainland was completed in June 1973. Construction of the wharves and workshops began in early 1973 and accommodation in 1975 with the facility, including the new Fleet Base West, being formally commissioned on 28 July 1978.[4]

The first major unit to call Fleet Base West home was HMAS Stuart, having first been assigned to Stirling in 1984 for several years and, after refitting in the east, again in 1988 until decommissioning in 1991. The first submarine to be based at Stirling was HMAS Oxley in 1987. Later, the headquarters of the Australian Submarine Squadron was relocated there in 1994.[2]

Stirling has expanded significantly within its existing boundaries and is the largest of the RAN's shore establishment, with a base population of approximately 2,300 service personnel, 600 defence civilians and 500 contractors. Amenities included berthing and wharves, vessel repair and refit services, a ship-lift, and a helicopter support facility, as well as medical facilities, fuel storage and accommodation. The base also hosts the Submarine Escape Training Facility – one of only six in the world and the only one in the Southern Hemisphere.[2]

Garden Island

Garden Island is 10 km (6.2 mi) in length, 1.5 km (0.93 mi) wide, and is 13 km2 (5.0 sq mi) in area, with Stirling occupying approximately 28% of that area. The remaining portion of the Island is nature reserve, the navy has been active in the removal of introduced flora and fauna species. The island has its own quarantine conditions, which prohibit bringing of plants and animals to the island.[5]

Ships stationed

HMAS Sheean 01 gnangarra
HMAS Sheean (front left), HMAS Collins (front right), HMAS Sirius (back left) and ex-HMAS Westralia at HMAS Stirling in 2006

Stirling is home port to 11 fleet units, including five Anzac class frigates, all six of the Collins class submarines operated by the Royal Australian Navy Submarine Service, and a replenishment vessel.[2][4]

See also


  1. ^ YGAD – Garden Island (PDF). AIP En Route Supplement from Airservices Australia, effective 28 February 2019
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "HMAS Stirling Naval Base, Garden Island, Australia". Naval Technology. 2014. Retrieved 10 September 2014.
  3. ^ Crowley, F.K. (1967). "Stirling, Sir James (1791–1865)". Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 2. Carlton, Victoria: Melbourne University Press. OCLC 768976880.
  4. ^ a b "HMAS Stirling". Royal Australian Navy. Retrieved 28 July 2013.
  5. ^ "Defence Environmental Management".

External links


CETO is a wave-energy technology that converts kinetic energy from ocean swell into electrical power and (in CETO 5) directly desalinates freshwater through reverse osmosis. The technology was developed and tested onshore and offshore in Fremantle, Western Australia. In early 2015 a CETO 5 production installation was commissioned and connected to the grid. As of January 2016 all the electricity generated is being purchased to contribute towards the power requirements of HMAS Stirling naval base at Garden Island, Western Australia. Some of the energy will also be used directly to desalinate water.CETO is designed to be a simple and robust wave technology. As of January 2016 CETO is claimed to be the only ocean-tested wave-energy technology globally that is both fully submerged and generates power and or desalinated water onshore. The CETO technology has been independently verified by Energies Nouvelles (EDF EN) and the French naval contractor DCNS.

Clearance Diving Branch (RAN)

The Clearance Diving Branch is the specialist diving unit of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) whose versatile role covers all spheres of military diving, and includes explosive ordnance disposal and maritime counter-terrorism. The Branch has evolved from traditional maritime diving, and explosive ordnance disposal, to include a special operations focus.

DT Quokka (1801)

DT Quokka (1801) was a medium harbour tug operated by the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) until 1998. She was constructed by Shoreline Engineers, Portland, Victoria in 1982 and completed in December 1983. Quokka spent most of her RAN career at HMAS Stirling in Western Australia, except for a brief stint in Darwin, and was sold in 1998.

Quokka is now operated by Defence Maritime Services.

DT Tammar (2601)

DT Tammar (2601) was a coastal tug operated by the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) until 1998. She was constructed by the Australian Ship Building Industries, Western Australia. Tammar spent her RAN career at HMAS Stirling, Western Australia until sold in 1998.

Tammar is now operated by Defence Maritime Services.

Garden Island (Western Australia)

Garden Island is a narrow island about 10 kilometres (6 mi) long and 1.5 kilometres (0.9 mi) wide, lying about 5 kilometres (3 mi) off the Western Australian coast, to which it is linked by an artificial causeway and bridge.

Like Rottnest Island and Carnac Island, it is a limestone outcrop covered by a thin layer of sand accumulated during an era of lowered sea levels. The Noongar Indigenous Australians tell of walking to these islands in their Dreamtime.

At the end of the last glacial period, the sea level rose, cutting the island off from the mainland. For the last seven thousand years, the island has existed in relative isolation.

The Royal Australian Navy's largest fleet base, Fleet Base West, also called HMAS Stirling, are on the shores of Careening Bay, on the southeastern section of Garden Island, facing Cockburn Sound. At the 2016 census, 720 people lived at the Garden Island base.Garden Island is home to a tammar wallaby population.

HMAS Derwent (DE 49)

HMAS Derwent (F22/DE 22/DE 49), named for the Derwent River, was a River-class destroyer escort of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). She was laid down by Williamstown Naval Dockyard in 1959, and commissioned into the RAN in 1964. During the ship's career, she was deployed to South East Asia on 23 occasions, including operations during the Indonesia-Malaysia Confrontation, and escort of the troopship HMAS Sydney to and from the Vietnam War. Multiple flag-showing cruises were also embarked upon, with port visits throughout Asia, the Indian Ocean, and the Pacific Ocean. Derwent was also briefly used to portray a fictional vessel for the British drama series Warship.

A major modernisation occurred between 1981 and 1985. In 1987, the ship's home port was changed to HMAS Stirling (Fleet Base West). In addition to usual exercises and operations, Derwent assisted with the 1987 America's Cup and the First Fleet Re-enactment Voyage. Between 1992 and 1993, the ship was used for pilotage training cruises. Derwent was paid off in 1994, and used by the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) for ship survivability testing. Although it was originally intended to sink the ship as a dive wreck, the nature of the damage from the DSTO program made it unaffordable to render the ship diver-safe, so Derwent was towed to deep water off Rottnest Island and scuttled.

HMAS Hobart (D 39)

HMAS Hobart (D 39) was a Perth class guided missile destroyer of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). Built in the United States of America to a slight variant of the United States Navy (USN) Charles F. Adams class, she was commissioned into the RAN in 1965. In March 1967, Hobart became the first RAN combat ship deployed to fight in the Vietnam War. This marked the start of consistent six-month deployments to the warzone, which continued until late 1971; Hobart was redeployed in 1969 and 1970. During the 1968 tour, the destroyer was attacked by a United States Air Force aircraft.

After the Vietnam War, Hobart saw service during Operation Navy Help Darwin; the RAN disaster relief effort following Cyclone Tracy, was the first RAN ship to dock at HMAS Stirling in Western Australia, and completed a round-the-world voyage in 1976. The ship was modernised during the late 1970s. Hobart was decommissioned in 2000, and sunk as a dive wreck off South Australia.

HMAS Kuttabul (naval base)

HMAS Kuttabul is a Royal Australian Navy (RAN) base located in Potts Point in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Kuttabul provides administrative, training, logistics and accommodation support to naval personnel assigned to the various facilities that form Fleet Base East, the main operational navy base on the east coast of Australia. A part of Fleet Base East itself, Kuttabul occupies several buildings in the Sydney suburb of Potts Point and in the immediately adjacent Garden Island dockyard. It also supports navy personnel posted to other locations throughout the greater Sydney region.The base is named for the steam ferry HMAS Kuttabul that was sunk while docked at Garden Island during a Japanese midget submarine attack on Sydney Harbour in 1942.

HMAS Lusair

HMAS Lusair is a former Royal Australian Navy (RAN) base located at Torokina, on Bougainville Island, Papua New Guinea.

HMAS Magnetic

HMAS Magnetic is a former Royal Australian Navy (RAN) base located in Townsville, Queensland, Australia.

HMAS Swan (DE 50)

HMAS Swan (DE 50), named for the Swan River, was a River-class destroyer escort of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). Constructed in Melbourne following the loss of HMAS Voyager, Swan entered service in 1970.

During her career, the ship was deployed to South East Asia on several occasions as part of ANZUK forces. She was modernised in the mid-1980s, then was assigned to the recently opened west coast naval base HMAS Stirling. Following the integration of women into the RAN, Swan was the site of sexual harassment and discrimination claims, leading to an Australian Defence Force-wide inquiry.

Swan paid off in 1996, and was sunk as a dive wreck off the coast of Dunsborough, Western Australia at the end of 1997.

List of Royal Australian Navy bases

The following is a list of current and former commissioned bases used by the Royal Australian Navy.

Mark McGowan

Mark McGowan (born 13 July 1967) is an Australian politician, the 30th and current Premier of Western Australia.

Born in Newcastle, McGowan was educated in country New South Wales before attending the University of Queensland. He subsequently worked as a legal officer for the Royal Australian Navy, serving at naval base HMAS Stirling, south of Perth. Remaining in Western Australia, McGowan served as a councillor at the City of Rockingham from 1994 until his election to the Legislative Assembly at the 1996 state election, representing the seat of Rockingham. After the 2005 election, he was elevated to the ministry, although he had served as a parliamentary secretary since the 2001 election. McGowan became leader of the Labor Party and opposition leader following Eric Ripper's resignation in January 2012, and led the party at its 2013 election defeat. Whilst in opposition, McGowan held several shadow portfolios in addition to his role as opposition leader. McGowan led Labor to a landslide win at the 2017 election, and was sworn in by Governor Kerry Sanderson on 17 March 2017 as the 30th premier of Western Australia.

Royal Australian Navy Submarine Service

The Royal Australian Navy Submarine Service is the collective name of the submarine element of the Royal Australian Navy. The service currently forms the Navy's Submarine Force Element Group (FEG) and consists of six Collins class submarines.

The Royal Australian Navy Submarine Service has been established four times, with the initial three attempts being foiled by combat losses and Australia's economic problems. The modern Submarine Service was established in 1964, and has formed an important element of the Australian military's capacity since that date. While the Submarine Service has not seen combat since World War I, Australian submarines have conducted extensive surveillance operations throughout South East Asia.

The current Director General Submarine Capability is Commodore G.J. Sammut, CSC, RAN.

Seahorse Standard

Seahorse Standard is a multi-purpose vessel operated by Defence Maritime Services under contract to the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). She is based at HMAS Stirling in Western Australia.The vessel was engaged in March 2014 in the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 in the South Indian Ocean where she will tow a Towed pinger locator on loan from the United States Navy.As part of Seahorse Standard's duties while based at Stirling, she was tasked as the submarine escape and rescue support vessel. With the rescue ship MV Besant becoming operational in July 2015 and the planned completion of MV Stoker in early 2016, Seahorse Standard will no longer be needed for the role, and will likely be reassigned to eastern Australia.In March 2017, the Seahorse Standard was docked at the Serco Defence Southern Australia Support Group facility located in Stony Point, Victoria.

Submarine Escape Training Facility (Australia)

The Submarine Escape Training Facility (SETF), also known as the Submarine Escape and Rescue Centre (SERC), is a facility used by submariners of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) to train in the techniques needed to escape from a submarine in trouble.

USS Cincinnati (SSN-693)

USS Cincinnati (SSN-693), a Los Angeles-class submarine, was the fourth ship of the United States Navy to be named for Cincinnati, Ohio. The contract to build her was awarded to Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company in Newport News, Virginia on 4 February 1971 and her keel was laid down on 6 April 1974. She was launched on 19 February 1977 sponsored by Mrs. William J. Keating, and commissioned on 10 June 1978, with Commander Gilbert V. Wilkes, III in command.

In August 1979, Cincinnati rescued a Finnish sailor 70 miles (110 km) off the east coast of Florida who had been in the water for 22 hours after falling overboard from the Finnish freighter Finnbeaver.

In November 1980, after a patrol in the Mediterranean Sea, Cincinnati was visited by President of the United States Richard M. Nixon and Admiral Hyman Rickover for an overnight "familiarization and orientation cruise."

In 1981 Cincinnati, under the command of Commander Kurt T. Juroff USN, conducted an around the world cruise, steaming 60,000 miles and operating in the Indian Ocean. From 8-13 June 1981 Cincinnati visited Western Australia, docking at HMAS Stirling, Rockingham for an R&R visit.

Cincinnati was decommissioned and stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 29 July 1996. Ex-Cincinnati was scheduled to enter the Nuclear Powered Ship and Submarine Recycling Program in Bremerton, Washington. After an attempt made to preserve her as a museum and memorial in her namesake city failed, the city now plans on acquiring the sail and other artifacts for display on the riverfront.A portion of the submarine, the nuclear reactor compartment, was transported via river barge to Hanford, Washington in September 2014 for disposal.

USS Philadelphia (SSN-690)

USS Philadelphia (SSN-690), a Los Angeles-class attack submarine, was the sixth ship of the United States Navy to be named for the city of Philadelphia. The contract to build her was awarded to the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics Corporation in Groton, Connecticut on 8 January 1971 and her keel was laid down on 12 August 1972. She was launched on 19 October 1974 sponsored by Mrs. Marian Huntington Scott (née Chase), wife of Senate Minority Leader Hugh Scott, and commissioned on 25 June 1977, with Commander Robert B. Osborne USN in command.

In June 1980 Philadelphia departed her homeport of Groton, Connecticut, and headed on a world cruise that would take it to the Indian Ocean/Persian Gulf, as well as the Pacific. Under the command of Commander Edward S. Little USN, the cruise included at visit to Western Australia, when Philadelphia made her only visit to HMAS Stirling in Rockingham on 23 December 1980. The crew enjoyed Christmas in Australia and some R&R before departing on the 29 December 1980. The Philadelphia arrived home in late January 1981.

In 1988, Philadelphia became the first submarine to receive TLAM-D capability.

In 1994, Philadelphia completed the first refueling overhaul of a Los Angeles-class submarine. This was completed at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine.

In 1998, Philadelphia was modified to carry a Dry Deck Shelter, a platform capable of carrying Special Operations Forces. In addition, she was fitted to provide Deep Submergence Rescue Vehicle (DSRV) mother ship support.On 5 September 2005 Philadelphia was in the Persian Gulf about 30 nautical miles (60 km) northeast of Bahrain when she collided with a Turkish merchant ship, MV Yasa Aysen. No injuries were reported on either vessel. Damage to the submarine was described as "superficial." Philadelphia's Commanding Officer, CDR Steven M. Oxholm, was relieved following the incident.

The Turkish ship, which suffered minor damage to her hull just above the water line, was inspected by the United States Coast Guard and found still seaworthy.

In 2006, Philadelphia completed the first-ever Pre-Inactivation Restricted Availability (PIRA) conducted at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine.

On 20 July 2009 the Navy announced that the submarine would be inactivated on 10 June 2010 and subsequently decommissioned. Philadelphia was decommissioned on 25 June 2010, the thirty-third anniversary of her commissioning.

USS Puffer (SSN-652)

USS Puffer (SSN-652), a Sturgeon-class attack submarine, was the second ship of the United States Navy to be named for the pufferfish, a fish which inflates its body with air.

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