Wednesday, April 16, 2014

N is for Navy

N is for Navy

“In no time, Mark was in position at one of the two 12.7mm mounted machine guns should he be given the order. The Albany was also equipped with an ATK Bushmaster cannon which was operated remotely from the bridge. Each man knew his job. The well oiled machinery of this patrol boat was matched by the men and women who crewed her. With everyone at their respective stations, the countdown began. Mission parameters for Armidale Class patrol boats allowed for the provision of naval support for civilian authorities such as fisheries protection, customs patrol and in protection against illegal immigration.

Unidentified vessels were most likely foreign fishing boats, trespassing in Australian territorial waters or leaking, overcrowded people smugglers. There was a potential for hostility in either case, as well as the chance that pirates were plying their wicked trade. Piracy was a new phenomenon in Australian waters. Formerly ignored by maritime criminals, the popularity of the Great Southland had ballooned following the much publicized campaigns of the colourful Indonesian buccaneer Porampu Satu.”  from chapter 1, Ashmore Grief

The Royal Australian Navy consists of 53 vessels and over 16 000 personnel. It is one of the largest and most sophisticated naval forces in the Pacific region, with a significant presence in the Indian Ocean and worldwide operations in support of military campaigns and peacekeeping missions. The RAN currently uses the Armidale class patrol boat. Boats are named after Australian cities and towns with close links to Navy heritage. Armidale class patrol boats provide the RAN with an improved ability to intercept and apprehend vessels in a greater range of sea conditions than earlier patrol boat classes.

Author's note: I did much more research for Ashmore Grief than for either of my previous novels. Authenticity was important, and I hope I managed to convey a realistic feel to the novel with respect to the RAN. HMS Albany is the main Armidale class patrol, boat featured in the novel.

My extreme distaste for the Australian government's policy on "boat people" is no reflection at all on RAN service personnel who do their jobs well and proudly serve this great nation.


  1. Stopping by to say hi from the A-Z Challenge! :)

    Madeline @ The Shellshank Redemption
    Minion, Capt. Alex's Ninja Minion Army
    The 2014 Blogging from A-Z Challenge

    1. Thanks for popping in. I've just been to your site, checked out your micro fiction and decided to follow you.

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks Liz. Not a post you can really say much about is it?

  3. This is very well researched! There is definitely a lot of issues with modern day piracy, so I'm sure the RAN need to very vigilant!

  4. Thanks Roshni. Thankfully, piracy, like many of the world's problems, is actually not a huge deal in Australia.