31 Mar 2020

Atlantic & Peninsula Australia, part of Atlantic and Peninsula Marine Services which also owns UK-based A&P Group, has played an instrumental role in supporting the Bay Class Landing Ship Dock HMAS Choules, which was urgently deployed to help Australia’s bush fire rescue effort.

Based in Sydney, Atlantic & Peninsula Australia has replicated the business model of A&P Defence in the UK and secured the first In Service Support (ISS) contract of its kind with the Australian Government for the provision of ongoing maintenance and engineering support to HMAS Choules.

The vessel’s immediate deployment by the Royal Australian Navy on 1st January 2020 was made possible thanks to extensive work carried out by Atlantic & Peninsula during HMAS Choules’ 2019 Intermediate Docking and Annual Maintenance Period, which completed in November.

Work included the complete refurbishment of the galley, which enabled HMAS Choules to accommodate more than 1,000 evacuees and provide more than 4,000 meals over a 20 hour period. In addition, other upgrades, major overhauls and heavy maintenance ensured that HMAS Choules operated at a full and improved capability to support this mission.

During Operation Bush Fire Assist (BFA), HMAS Choules evacuated a total of 1,117 people, 135 dogs, four cats and one rabbit from bush fires in Mallacoota, in the East Gippsland region of Victoria, as well as provided a number of urgent deliveries to affected areas.

Scott Wiley, Managing Director of Atlantic & Peninsula Australia said: “We’ve been supporting HMAS Choules for more than four years as part of the In-Service Support contract which is focused on ensuring the vessel is always in top material condition and immediately ready to sail, whenever she’s needed.

“Knowing that we played our part in ensuring Choules was ready to help during one of this country’s worst natural disasters, makes us very proud. It also highlights the importance and value of the partnerships between industry and government to provide maintenance and support these vessels.”

Atlantic & Peninsula Australia’s support of HMAS Choules during Operation BFA has attracted praise from the Australian Government’s Department of Defence.

Vice Admiral Michael Joseph Noonan AO, Chief of the Royal Australian Navy said: “Atlantic & Peninsula Australia’s support to the ADF contribution in this significant and challenging national endeavour has been excellent and a true representation of a transformational partnership in action. Our appreciation of your company’s efforts cannot be overstated.

“As an important industry partner, Atlantic & Peninsula Australia has demonstrated the highest levels of professionalism, resilience, and flexibility needed to assist this great country of ours in its time of need.”

Atlantic & Peninsula Australia specialises in marine platform through-life and in-service support as well as planning, managing and supervising ship repair and engineering activities and the facilitation of ship’s company training.

Atlantic & Peninsula Australia is owned by Atlantic & Peninsula Marine Services which also owns A&P Group. A&P Group operates the largest commercial ship repair, conversion and marine services facility in the UK. Operating seven dry docks across three strategic locations in the UK, A&P Group has a proud history of quality driven engineering excellence spanning six decades. Renowned for its highly skilled workforce, first class waterfront engineering infrastructure and being a partner of choice for customers, A&P Group delivers contracts for the marine, defence, offshore and energy industries.