City to wel­come war­ships

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS -

PORT of Townsville will roll out the wel­come mat for 14 navy ships ar­riv­ing in the gar­ri­son city this month from across the world ahead of a ma­jor de­fence forces ex­er­cise.

The United States’ USNS Richard E. Byrd ar­rived in Townsville yes­ter­day af­ter a visit from its sis­ter ship the USNS Charles Drew last week.

Port spokes­woman Sharon Hoops said the Richard E. Byrd was the first of 14 ships from the US, New Zealand and Aus­tralia to visit in July as part Ex­er­cise Tal­is­man Saber 2017.

“There will be up to about four de­fence ves­sels at any one time, so it will be a very busy four weeks for us try­ing to move ev­ery­one around,” she said.

Ms Hoops said the de­fence vis­i­tors never left the city empty- handed with Port and Townsville En­ter­prise of­fi­cials board­ing each of the ships to de­liver tourism in­for­ma­tion. “We al­ways de­liver fly­ers and some good­ies like the Townsville 150 book and if the ship is here for its in­au­gu­ral visit, they also get a plaque,” she said.

The pride of Aus­tralia’s navy, the HMAS Can­berra, is sched­uled to ar­rive later this week.

Mean­while, Lavarack Bar­racks will to­day host an of­fi­cial pa­rade for its Con­tin­gency Force El­e­ment. The event marks the start of 3rd Bri­gade’s role as the Aus­tralian De­fence Force’s ready com­bat bri­gade.

FIRST AR­RIVAL: USNS at Port of Townsville yes­ter­day. Pic­ture: SCOTT RAD­FORD- CHISHOLM

Richard E. Byrd

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