The oldest commission in the Royal Australian Navy, HMAS Cerberus, has marked 100 years of service with the unveiling of a commemorative plinth, at the original site of the establishment’s first commissioning, Navy Daily reports.
The ‘Cradle of the Navy’ and home of the sailor currently provides training for all three services with approximately 6000 Navy, Army and Air Force personnel undergoing training annually.
Each year, up to 1500 new-entry recruits start their careers at the RAN Recruit School, the majority of those sailors remain at Cerberus after graduation to conduct their chosen career specialist training.
Commanding Officer of Cerberus, Captain Mike Oborn, CSM says the base is well equipped to deliver another 100 years of service.
“The recent upgrade project to base infrastructure and installation of new technologies will deliver world class training and will best prepare our forces of the future,” Captain Oborn said.
“The COVID-19 restrictions have prevented us from celebrating this occasion in the way we would have liked. However, the unveiling of this plinth is one way to ensure the day does not pass unrecognised.”
Nearly every sailor and officer in the RAN has at some stage undertaken a form of training at Cerberus, and the base leaves a significant influence on their naval careers.
“Whether you are an initial trainee, or someone who returns to Cerberus as an instructor or support staff, you just fall in love with the place.
“Cerberus is an incredible base and community, and has a formative influence on the next generation of sailors and it will continue to deliver the finest sailors in any Navy, to our Navy,” Captain Oborn said.
Despite the ongoing upgrade project, Cerberus maintains its appeal with many heritage buildings, its chapels and pristine gardens.
Purchased in 1911, the 15 square kilometre site was originally set to host a torpedo school, a destroyer and submarine base and accommodate 2000 personnel.
The base opened and commissioned as HMAS Cerberus III on 01 September 1920, although it would continue to be known as Flinders Naval Depot for many years later.
Re-commissioned as HMAS Cerberus I in April 1921, the base has become the Navy’s premier training establishment.