HMAS Cairns (naval base)

HMAS Cairns is a Royal Australian Navy (RAN) base located adjacent to the Trinity Inlet on the shore of Trinity Bay in Cairns, Queensland, Australia. Although used regularly as a port-of-call since before World War II, a permanent RAN presence was not established until 1971, when a maintenance and support base for patrol boats was set up. The base was formally commissioned in 1971 as a minor war vessel base. The current commander of the base is Commander David Hannah, RAN.

HMAS Cairns
Cairns, Queensland in Australia
Sentry gate at the entrance to HMAS Cairns
HMAS Cairns
Location in Queensland
Coordinates16°56′08″S 145°46′40″E
TypeNaval base
Site information
OwnerDepartment of Defence
Operator Royal Australian Navy
Site history
In use1974 - present
Garrison information
Commander David Hannah, RAN

HMAS Cairns is responsible for all Australian naval activity off north-eastern Australia, and is the home base for one Armidale class patrol boat, two Cape class patrol boats and the ships of the Royal Australian Navy Hydrographic Service.


The RAN had been using Cairns as a regular stop since before World War II, and during the war, Cairns was the principal port-of-call for many ships prior to heading to Pacific destinations.[1] There was no official RAN presence in Cairns until 1971, when facilities for the maintenance of the RAN's patrol boats were established.[1] In 1974, HMAS Cairns was commissioned as the parent establishment for patrol vessels and hydrographic ships based at Cairns.[1]

In 2016 the Australian Government announced plans to significantly redevelop Cairns as northern Australia's key strategic naval base. The plans announced projected that the number of personnel would increase from 900 to 3,000 by 2020,[2] via an A$120 million injection over ten years.[3]

Facilities and operational units

Cairns is currently responsible for all Australian naval activity from Rockhampton to Thursday Island and serves as a home base for one of the navy's thirteen Armidale class patrol boats[1] and two Cape class patrol boats. The base also berths the RAN's entire hydrographic fleet, consisting of two Leeuwin class survey vessels and four Paluma class survey motor launches.[1] Cairns also has operational responsibility for the LADS Flight based at Cairns Airport.

Ships stationed

See also


  1. "HMAS Cairns". Royal Australian Navy. Australian Government. Retrieved 18 October 2010.
  2. Michael, Peter (7 March 2016). "HMAS Cairns major expansion to make it key northern defence base". Cairns Post. Retrieved 5 August 2017.
  3. Kim, Sharnie (26 February 2016). "Defence White Paper: HMAS Cairns to get $120m over 10 years, more Navy patrol boats". ABC News. Australia. Retrieved 5 August 2017.
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.