Boeing CH-47 Chinook
The Boeing CH-47 Chinook is an American twin-engined, tandem rotor, heavy-lift helicopter developed by American rotorcraft company Vertol and manufactured by Boeing Vertol. The CH-47 is among the heaviest lifting Western helicopters, its name, Chinook, is from the Native American Chinook people of modern-day Washington state. The Chinook was designed by Vertol, which had begun work in 1957 on a new tandem-rotor helicopter, designated as the Vertol Model 107 or V-107. Around the same time, the United States Department of the Army announced its intention to replace the piston engine-powered Sikorsky CH-37 Mojave with a new, gas turbine-powered helicopter. During June 1958, the U. S. Army ordered a small number of V-107s from Vertol under the YHC-1A designation. While the YHC-1A would be improved and adopted by the U. S. Marine Corps as the CH-46 Sea Knight, the Army sought a heavier transport helicopter, ordered an enlarged derivative of the V-107 with the Vertol designation Model 114. Designated as the YCH-1B, on 21 September 1961, the preproduction rotorcraft performed its maiden flight.
In 1962, the HC-1B was redesignated CH-47A under the 1962 United States Tri-Service aircraft designation system. The Chinook possesses several means of loading various cargoes, including multiple doors across the fuselage, a wide loading ramp located at the rear of the fuselage, a total of three external ventral cargo hooks to carry underslung loads, as well. Capable of a top speed of 170 knots, upon its introduction to service in 1962, the helicopter was faster than contemporary 1960s utility helicopters and attack helicopters, is still one of the fastest helicopters in the US inventory. Improved and more powerful versions of the Chinook have been developed since its introduction, it remains one of the few aircraft to be developed during the early 1960s – along with the fixed-wing Lockheed C-130 Hercules cargo aircraft – that had remained in both production and frontline service for over 50 years. The military version of the helicopter has been subject to numerous export sales from nations across the world using it as heavy-lift rotorcraft in a military context.
S. Army and the Royal Air Force have been its two largest users; the civilian version of the Chinook is the Boeing Vertol 234. It has been used for a variety of purposes by a range of different civil operators, having been used for passenger and cargo transport, along with niche roles such as aerial firefighting and to support various industrial activities, including logging and oil extraction. During late 1956, the United States Department of the Army announced its intention to replace the Sikorsky CH-37 Mojave, powered by piston engines, with a new, gas turbine-powered helicopter. Turbine engines were a key design feature of the smaller UH-1 "Huey" utility helicopter. Following a design competition, in September 1958, a joint Army–Air Force source selection board recommended that the Army procure the Vertol-built medium transport helicopter. However, funding for full-scale development was not available, the Army vacillated on its design requirements; some officials in Army Aviation thought that the new helicopter should be operated as a light tactical transport aimed at taking over the missions of the old piston-engined Piasecki H-21 and Sikorsky H-34 helicopters, be capable of carrying about 15 troops.
Another faction in Army Aviation thought that the new helicopter should be much larger, enabling it to be able to airlift large artillery pieces and possess enough internal space to carry the new MGM-31 "Pershing" missile system. During 1957, Vertol commenced work upon a new tandem-rotor helicopter, designated as the Vertol Model 107 or V-107. During June 1958, the U. S. Army awarded a contract to Vertol for the acquisition of a small number of the rotorcraft, giving it the YHC-1A designation; as ordered, the YHC-1A possessed the capacity to carry a maximum of 20 troops. Three underwent testing by the Army for deriving engineering and operational data. However, the YHC-1A was considered by many figures within the Army users to be too heavy for the assault role, while too light for the more general transport role. Accordingly, a decision was made to procure a heavier transport helicopter, at the same time, upgrade the UH-1 "Huey" to serve as the needed tactical troop transport; the YHC-1A would be improved and adopted by the Marines as the CH-46 Sea Knight in 1962.
As a result, the Army issued a new order to Vertol for an enlarged derivative of the V-107, known by internal company designation as the Model 114, which it gave the designation of HC-1B. On 21 September 1961, the preproduction Boeing Vertol YCH-1B made its initial hovering flight. During 1962, the HC-1B was redesignated the CH-47A under the 1962 United States Tri-Service aircraft designation system; the CH-47 is powered by two Lycoming T55 turboshaft engines, mounted on each side of the helicopter's rear pylon and connected to the rotors by drive shafts. Initial models were fitted with engines rated at 2,200 horsepower each; the counter-rotating rotors eliminate the need for an antitorq
Operation Astute was an Australian-led military deployment to East Timor to quell unrest and return stability in the 2006 East Timor crisis. It was headed by Brigadier Bill Sowry, commenced on 25 May 2006 under the command of Brigadier Michael Slater; the operation was established at the request of East Timor's government, continues under an understanding reached between Australia, East Timor, the United Nations, with the United Nations Integrated Mission in East Timor supporting and helping to develop East Timor's police force. Other countries deploying soldiers to East Timor include Malaysia, New Zealand and East Timor's former colonial power Portugal, operating under independent command; the initial tasks of the operation were to: Allow for the evacuation of foreigners. Restore stability and confine conflict to secured areas. Assess and locate the weapons possessed by conflicting groups. Establish a safe environment for dialogue to resolve the crisis. A forward deployment of 200, including a commando company from the 4th Battalion of the Royal Australian Regiment, secured an entry point for follow-on forces centred on Dili Airport.
The full deployment consisted of a battalion group of about 1,800 personnel drawn from the 3rd Battalion of the Royal Australian Regiment and other Australian and New Zealand Army units. Evacuations were carried out by C-130 Hercules aircraft from the Royal Australian Air Force, using RAAF Base Darwin as a Forward Operating Base. Initial assets deployed included the guided-missile frigate HMAS Adelaide, the replenishment vessel HMAS Success and the amphibious landing/hospital ship HMAS Kanimbla. Landing ships HMAS Tobruk and HMAS Manoora were sent to East Timor with follow-on forces. Operation Astute was established at the request of East Timor's government. Troops from former INTERFET nations including from Malaysia, New Zealand and Portugal have augmented the Australian force. Prior to sending troops, each participating government negotiated a Status of Forces Agreement with the government of East Timor. Malaysian Army forces began arriving on 26 May, by air. 24 May21:59 Acting Prime Minister of Australia, Peter Costello, announced in a press conference that East Timor had requested Australia "send defence forces to East Timor to help in maintaining and re-establishing public order".
Australia would send an advance party including the Vice Chief of Defence force to negotiate conditions of the deployment the following morning.25 May07:00 Prime Minister of Australia John Howard arrives back in Canberra from Dublin early, though not because of the East Timor crisis. 12:30 A RAAF 34SQN Challenger 604 was tasked to fly the Australian Vice Chief of Defence Force from Canberra to Dili via Darwin, to negotiate the rules of engagement of the Australian operation, other conditions of deployment. However, on arrival in Darwin the Chief of the Defence Force ordered the aircraft to remain in Darwin, due to a dramatic increase in violence in Dili. RAAF 37SQN C130J Hercules aircraft arrive at Dili from Darwin with 130 commandos on board, together with 4 Australian Army Black Hawk helicopters; the Vice Chief of Defence Force was on board the C130, after being unable to fly to Dili on the RAAF VIP jet. Dili Airport is now under Australian military control; however the VCDF is unable to leave the airport due to security concerns.
HMAS Adelaide arrives in Dili Harbour. 18:43 Prime Minister John Howard announces in a press conference that the deployment will "go ahead without any conditionality" and that 1300 troops would be in place "in a short order", despite a failure to negotiate conditions of the deployment with the East Timorese Government. He explains waiting for signatures could lead to significant further bloodshed and the East Timorese Government is desperate for Australian troops to arrive; the Royal Australian Air Force commence transporting troops to Dili. A 33SQN Boeing 707 ferries troops between Townsville and Darwin, whilst 36SQN C-130Hs and 37SQN C-130Js transport troops and supplies between Darwin and Dili; the flights commence evacuations of civilians on the return legs. The flights continue throughout the night and the following day to form an air bridge between Darwin and Dili.26 May Malaysian Army soldiers begin arrive in Dili. RAAF aircraft continue to transport troops and equipment. United States Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team platoon arrives in Dili to protect the US Embassy.27 May13:30 A Royal New Zealand Air Force C-130H arrives in Darwin from Townsville, ready to deploy New Zealand soldiers to East Timor.29 MayThe initial deployment of Australian soldiers is completed.
A platoon of 42 New Zealand soldiers arrives in Dili to secure the New Zealand embassy.31 MayDelta Company, 2/1 Battalion, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment of 123 New Zealand soldiers arrives in Dili. 2 June8 New Zealand military police arrive in Dili.3 JuneUSAF C-17 Globemaster III aircraft complete their task of ferrying Australian troops and equipment between Townsville and Darwin.7 JuneAustralian Defence Minister Brendan Nelson and New Zealand Defence Minister Phil Goff and Defence Secretary Graham Fortune visit Dili.16 JuneRebel Timorese soldiers begin handing their weapons over to Australian troops.27 JuneIt is announced that a New Zealand soldier fired a warning shot during the week of 18–24 June. This is the first shot fired during the intervention. 1 July50 soldiers from 2/1 RNZIR and other units fly to Timor Leste to replace members of the initial New Zealand force.18 JulyAustralian Prime Minister John Howard visits Timor Leste. During his visit he announced that the Australian force in the country will be reduced.19 JulyHMAS Kanimbla departs Timor Leste for Australia carrying
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the Federal Government of the United States. The legislature consists of two chambers: the House of the Senate; the Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D. C.. Both senators and representatives are chosen through direct election, though vacancies in the Senate may be filled by a gubernatorial appointment. Congress has 535 voting members: 100 senators; the House of Representatives has six non-voting members representing Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, the U. S. Virgin Islands, the District of Columbia in addition to its 435 voting members. Although they cannot vote in the full house, these members can address the house and vote in congressional committees, introduce legislation; the members of the House of Representatives serve two-year terms representing the people of a single constituency, known as a "district". Congressional districts are apportioned to states by population using the United States Census results, provided that each state has at least one congressional representative.
Each state, regardless of population or size, has two senators. There are 100 senators representing the 50 states; each senator is elected at-large in their state for a six-year term, with terms staggered, so every two years one-third of the Senate is up for election. To be eligible for election, a candidate must be aged at least 25 or 30, have been a citizen of the United States for seven or nine years, be an inhabitant of the state which they represent; the Congress was created by the Constitution of the United States and first met in 1789, replacing in its legislative function the Congress of the Confederation. Although not mandated, in practice since the 19th century, Congress members are affiliated with the Republican Party or with the Democratic Party and only with a third party or independents. Article One of the United States Constitution states, "All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives."
The House and Senate are equal partners in the legislative process—legislation cannot be enacted without the consent of both chambers. However, the Constitution grants each chamber some unique powers; the Senate ratifies treaties and approves presidential appointments while the House initiates revenue-raising bills. The House initiates impeachment cases. A two-thirds vote of the Senate is required before an impeached person can be forcibly removed from office; the term Congress can refer to a particular meeting of the legislature. A Congress covers two years; the Congress ends on the third day of January of every odd-numbered year. Members of the Senate are referred to as senators. Scholar and representative Lee H. Hamilton asserted that the "historic mission of Congress has been to maintain freedom" and insisted it was a "driving force in American government" and a "remarkably resilient institution". Congress is the "heart and soul of our democracy", according to this view though legislators achieve the prestige or name recognition of presidents or Supreme Court justices.
One analyst argues that it is not a reactive institution but has played an active role in shaping government policy and is extraordinarily sensitive to public pressure. Several academics described Congress: Congress reflects us in all our strengths and all our weaknesses, it reflects our regional idiosyncrasies, our ethnic and racial diversity, our multitude of professions, our shadings of opinion on everything from the value of war to the war over values. Congress is the government's most representative body... Congress is charged with reconciling our many points of view on the great public policy issues of the day. Congress is changing and is in flux. In recent times, the American south and west have gained House seats according to demographic changes recorded by the census and includes more minorities and women although both groups are still underrepresented. While power balances among the different parts of government continue to change, the internal structure of Congress is important to understand along with its interactions with so-called intermediary institutions such as political parties, civic associations, interest groups, the mass media.
The Congress of the United States serves two distinct purposes that overlap: local representation to the federal government of a congressional district by representatives and a state's at-large representation to the federal government by senators. Most incumbents seek re-election, their historical likelihood of winning subsequent elections exceeds 90 percent; the historical records of the House of Representatives and the Senate are maintained by the Center for Legislative Archives, a part of the National Archives and Records Administration. Congress is directly responsible for the governing of the District of Columbia, the current seat of the federal government; the First Continental Congress was a gathering of representatives from twelve of the thirteen British Colonies in North America. On July 4, 1776, the Second Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence, referring to the new nation as the "United States of America"; the Articles of Confederation in 1781 created the Congress of the Confederation, a
Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands
The Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands known as Operation Helpem Fren and Operation Anode, was created in 2003 in response to a request for international aid by the Governor-General of Solomon Islands. Helpem Fren means "help a friend" in Solomon Islands Pidgin; the mission ended on 30 June 2017. Deep seated problems of land alienation dating from colonialism, unresolved after independence, have led to a number of compensation claims on land use. "The Honiara Peace Accord, signed by the warring parties, the government and the Commonwealth Special Envoy recognised several root causes of the conflict: Land demands – Guadalcanal leaders wanted all alienated land titles, leased to government and to individual developers, to be returned to landowners. Political demands – Guadalcanal wanted the establishment of a state government in order to have control over: the sale or use of local land. Compensation demands – Guadalcanal wanted payment for the lives of its indigenous people, who have been brutally murdered for their lands or for other reasons."The warring parties mentioned were the Solomon Islands Government, the Isatabu Freedom Movement and the Malaita Eagle Force led by, among others, Jimmy Rasta and Harold Keke.
A sizeable international security contingent of 2,200 police and troops, led by Australia and New Zealand, with representatives from about six other Pacific nations began arriving on 24 July 2003. Nick Warner assumed the role of Special Coordinator as leader of RAMSI, working with the Solomon Islands Government and assisted by a New Zealand Deputy Special Coordinator, Peter Noble, Fijian Assistant Special Coordinator, Sekove Naqiolevu. Major contributing nations to RAMSI include Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Tonga. Pacific countries contribute to RAMSI including Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Tonga and Vanuatu. Personnel from the Pacific countries are predominantly police officers served as part of RAMSI's Participating Police Force; the commander of "Combined Task Force 635" – the military element of the Mission – was Lieutenant Colonel John Frewen, commanding officer of the 2nd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, the deputy commander Major Vern Bennett, New Zealand Army, from Linton.
The Land Component included HQ 2 RAR from Townsville, 200 Australian infantry from 2 RAR, a Fijian rifle company from 3 Fiji Infantry Regiment, Queen Elizabeth Bks, a Pacific Islands Company, under an Australian Company commander, with Tongan, PNG, Australian rifle platoons. Supporting elements included eight Iroquois Helicopters, four each from 3 SQN, Royal New Zealand Air Force and 171 Operational Support Squadron, Australian Army, a PNG engineer troop, New Zealand engineer and medical elements, an Australian Combat Service Support Team, with some personnel from Army level troops from Sydney plus logistics personnel from New Zealand, four Australian Project Nervana Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for surveillance. In 2004, James Batley took over as Special Coordinator, followed by Tim George in late 2006. In 2005 New Zealander Paul Ash became Deputy Special Coordinator, followed by Dr Jonathan Austin in 2007. Mataiasi Lomaloma succeeded Naqiolevu as Assistant Special Coordinator in late 2005. Military personnel provide security and logistical assistance to police forces assisting the Solomon Islands Government in the restoration of law and order.
From November 2003, the military component was reduced, as stability returned to the country, a sizeable civilian contingent, composed of economists, development assistance specialists and budget advisors commenced the reconstruction of the government and finances of the Solomon Islands. The civilian contingent is now made up of around 130 personnel from many pacific countries, the most sizeable being Australia and New Zealand. Early successes included the stabilisation of government finances and normalisation of debt, as well as a number of economic reforms. Civilians in RAMSI are now focussing on capacity building of Solomon Islanders to take over the roles. Difficulties include the lack of available skilled Solomon Islanders. Former Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare was outspoken in his criticism of RAMSI, which he accused of being dominated by Australia and of undermining the Solomons' sovereignty. By contrast, his successor Prime Minister Derek Sikua has stated he supports RAMSI, has criticised his predecessor, saying in January 2008: "I think for some time in the last 18 months, the Solomon Islands government was preoccupied with finding fault in RAMSI."
Sikua has stated: " provide leadership that will work with RAMSI to achieve stated and agreed objectives for the long-term benefit of Solomon Islands. RAMSI is here on our invitation. Is important to Solomon Islands as it provides security, development of our police service, the strengthening of the capacity of government institutions."Sikua has asked RAMSI to assist the Solomons' rural areas "in the health sector and in the education sector as well as in infrastructure and other sectors to do with income generation and economic activities". A documentary film about the tension times and the RAMSI intervention was filmed in 2013, directed by Michael Bainbridge and Mark Power. In the early hours
Solomon Islands is a sovereign state consisting of six major islands and over 900 smaller islands in Oceania lying to the east of Papua New Guinea and northwest of Vanuatu and covering a land area of 28,400 square kilometres. The country's capital, Honiara, is located on the island of Guadalcanal; the country takes its name from the Solomon Islands archipelago, a collection of Melanesian islands that includes the North Solomon Islands, but excludes outlying islands, such as Rennell and Bellona, the Santa Cruz Islands. The islands have been inhabited for thousands of years. In 1568, the Spanish navigator Álvaro de Mendaña was the first European to visit them, naming them the Islas Salomón. Britain defined its area of interest in the Solomon Islands archipelago in June 1893, when Captain Gibson R. N. of HMS Curacoa, declared the southern Solomon Islands a British protectorate. During World War II, the Solomon Islands campaign saw fierce fighting between the United States and the Empire of Japan, such as in the Battle of Guadalcanal.
The official name of the British administration was changed from "the British Solomon Islands Protectorate" to "the Solomon Islands" in 1975, self-government was achieved the year after. Independence was obtained in 1978 and the name changed to just "Solomon Islands", without the "the". At independence, Solomon Islands became a constitutional monarchy; the Queen of Solomon Islands is Elizabeth II, represented by Sir Frank Kabui. The prime minister is Rick Houenipwela. In 1568, the Spanish navigator Álvaro de Mendaña was the first European to visit the Solomon Islands archipelago, naming it Islas Salomón after the wealthy biblical King Solomon, it is said that they were given this name in the mistaken assumption that they contained great riches, he believed them to be the Bible-mentioned city of Ophir. During most of the period of British rule the territory was named "the British Solomon Islands Protectorate". On 22 June 1975 the territory was renamed "the Solomon Islands"; when Solomon Islands became independent in 1978, the name was changed to "Solomon Islands".
The definite article, "the", is not part of the country's official name but is sometimes used, both within and outside the country. It is believed that Papuan-speaking settlers began to arrive around 30,000 BC. Austronesian speakers arrived c. 4000 BC bringing cultural elements such as the outrigger canoe. Between 1200 and 800 BC the ancestors of the Polynesians, the Lapita people, arrived from the Bismarck Archipelago with their characteristic ceramics; the first European to visit the islands was the Spanish navigator Álvaro de Mendaña de Neira, coming from Peru in 1568. Some of the earliest and most regular foreign visitors to the islands were whaling vessels from Britain, the United States and Australia, they came for food and water from late in the 18th century and took aboard islanders to serve as crewmen on their ships. Relations between the islanders and visiting seamen was not always good and sometimes there was violence and bloodshed. Missionaries began visiting the Solomons in the mid-19th century.
They made little progress at first, because "blackbirding" led to a series of reprisals and massacres. The evils of the slave trade prompted the United Kingdom to declare a protectorate over the southern Solomons in June 1893. In 1898 and 1899, more outlying islands were added to the protectorate. Traditional trade and social intercourse between the western Solomon Islands of Mono and Alu and the traditional societies in the south of Bougainville, continued without hindrance. Missionaries settled in the Solomons under the protectorate, converting most of the population to Christianity. In the early 20th century several British and Australian firms began large-scale coconut planting. Economic growth was slow and the islanders benefited little. Journalist Joe Melvin visited as part of his undercover investigation into blackbirding. In 1908 the islands were visited by Jack London, cruising the Pacific on his boat, the Snark. With the outbreak of the Second World War most planters and traders were evacuated to Australia and most cultivation ceased.
Some of the most intense fighting of the war occurred in the Solomons. The most significant of the Allied Forces' operations against the Japanese Imperial Forces was launched on 7 August 1942, with simultaneous naval bombardments and amphibious landings on the Florida Islands at Tulagi and Red Beach on Guadalcanal; the Battle of Guadalcanal became an important and bloody campaign fought in the Pacific War as the Allies began to repulse the Japanese expansion. Of strategic importance during the war were the coastwatchers operating in remote locations on Japanese held islands, providing early warning and intelligence of Japanese naval and aircraft movements during the campaign. Sergeant-Major Jacob Vouza was a notable coastwatcher who, after capture, refused to divulge Allied information in spite of interrogation and torture by Japanese Imperial forces, he was awarded a Silver Star Medal by the Americans, the United States' third-highest decoration for valor in combat. Islanders Biuku Gasa and Eroni Kumana were the first to find the shipwrecked John F. Kennedy and his crew of the PT-109.
They suggested writing a rescue message on a coconut, delivered the coconut by paddling a dug
Forgacs Shipyard is a shipbuilding company located at Tomago, New South Wales on the Hunter River. It was opened in 1957 by John Laverick Sr. at Carrington as Carrington Slipways, built 45 ships between and 1968. By 1972, the business required larger premises and moved to Tomago, not far from the Pacific Highway; the shipyard was purchased by Forgacs Engineering in 1997. Several First Fleet-class ferries were built at the Tomago yard. HMAS Rushcutter and HMAS Shoalwater were not built at either Carrington or the Tomago yard, but at Ramsay Fibreglass, a subsidiary company, 1.5 km from the Tomago yard. Media related to Forgacs Shipyard at Wikimedia Commons Official website The Carrington Slipways Story on YouTube
Royal Australian Navy
The Royal Australian Navy is the naval branch of the Australian Defence Force. Following the Federation of Australia in 1901, the ships and resources of the separate colonial navies were integrated into a national force, called the Commonwealth Naval Forces. Intended for local defence, the navy was granted the title of'Royal Australian Navy' in 1911, became responsible for defence of the region. Britain's Royal Navy’s Australian Squadron was assigned to the Australia Station and provided support to the RAN; the Australian and New Zealand governments helped to fund the Australian Squadron until 1913, while the Admiralty committed itself to keeping the Squadron at a constant strength. The Australian Squadron ceased on 4 October 1913, when RAN ships entered Sydney Harbour for the first time; the Royal Navy continued to provide blue-water defence capability in the Pacific up to the early years of World War II. Rapid wartime expansion saw the acquisition of large surface vessels and the building of many smaller warships.
In the decade following the war, the RAN acquired a small number of aircraft carriers, the last of, decommissioned in 1982. Today, the RAN consists of 48 commissioned vessels, 3 non-commissioned vessels and over 16,000 personnel; the navy is one of the largest and most sophisticated naval forces in the South Pacific region, with a significant presence in the Indian Ocean and worldwide operations in support of military campaigns and peacekeeping missions. The current Chief of Navy is Vice Admiral Michael Noonan; the Commonwealth Naval Forces were established on 1 March 1901, two months after the federation of Australia, when the naval forces of the separate Australian colonies were amalgamated. A period of uncertainty followed as the policy makers sought to determine the newly established force's requirements and purpose, with the debate focusing upon whether Australia's naval force would be structured for local defence or whether it would be designed to serve as a fleet unit within a larger imperial force, controlled centrally by the British Admiralty.
In 1908–09, the decision was made to pursue a compromise solution, the Australian government agreed to establish a force that would be used for local defence but which would be capable of forming a fleet unit within the imperial naval strategy, albeit without central control. As a result, the navy's force structure was set at "one battlecruiser, three light cruisers, six destroyers and three submarines". On 10 July 1911, King George V granted the service the title of "Royal Australian Navy"; the first of the RAN's new vessels, the destroyer Yarra, was completed in September 1910 and by the outbreak of the First World War the majority of the RAN's planned new fleet had been realised. The Australian Squadron was placed under control of the British Admiralty, it was tasked with capturing many of Germany's South Pacific colonies and protecting Australian shipping from the German East Asia Squadron. In the war, most of the RAN's major ships operated as part of Royal Navy forces in the Mediterranean and North Seas, later in the Adriatic, the Black Sea following the surrender of the Ottoman Empire.
In 1919, the RAN received a force of six destroyers, three sloops and six submarines from the Royal Navy, but throughout the 1920s and early 1930s, the RAN was drastically reduced in size due to a variety of factors including political apathy and economic hardship as a result of the Great Depression. In this time the focus of Australia's naval policy shifted from defence against invasion to trade protection, several fleet units were sunk as targets or scrapped. By 1923, the size of the navy had fallen to eight vessels, by the end of the decade it had fallen further to five, with just 3,500 personnel. In the late 1930s, as international tensions increased, the RAN was modernised and expanded, with the service receiving primacy of funding over the Army and Air Force during this time as Australia began to prepare for war. Early in the Second World War, RAN ships again operated as part of Royal Navy formations, many serving with distinction in the Mediterranean, the Red Sea, the Persian Gulf, the Indian Ocean, off the West African coast.
Following the outbreak of the Pacific War and the virtual destruction of British naval forces in south-east Asia, the RAN operated more independently, or as part of United States Navy formations. As the navy took on an greater role, it was expanded and at its height the RAN was the fourth-largest navy in the world, with 39,650 personnel operating 337 warships. A total of 34 vessels were lost during the war, including four destroyers. After the Second World War, the size of the RAN was again reduced, but it gained new capabilities with the acquisition of two aircraft carriers and Melbourne; the RAN saw action in many Cold War–era conflicts in the Asia-Pacific region and operated alongside the Royal Navy and United States Navy off Korea and Vietnam. Since the end of the Cold War, the RAN has been part of Coalition forces in the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean, operating in support of Operation Slipper and undertaking counter piracy operations, it was deployed in support of Australian peacekeeping operations in East Timor and the Solomon Islands.
The strategic command structure of the RAN was overhauled during the New Generation Navy changes. The RAN is commanded through Naval Headquarters in Canberra; the professional head is the Chief of Navy. NHQ is responsible for implementing policy decisions handed down from the Department of Defence and for overseeing tactical and operational issues that are the purview of the subordinate commands. Beneath NHQ are two subordinate commands: Fleet Command: fleet comma