Two important decisions, crucial to the future force structure of the RAN, have been announced since the last Journal went to press Firstly, the Government has decided to replace HMAS MELBOURNE with a purpose designed ship to operate ASW helicopters but with the potential for operating short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) aircraft. Secondly, the Government has made the decision to commence the Follow-on-Destroyer programme with the building of two FFG-type vessels.
The major articles in this Journal cover a diversity of topics, ranging from the saga of a great sailing ship owner, Captain Gustaf E'ikson, to a discussion of industrial support for Australian maritime power. The latter is a topical subject in view of the theme of the Institute's next seminar. SEAPOWER 81. There is also a particularly commendable ANI Silver Medal prize-winning essay from Course 1 /80 at the RAN Staff College
Of special interest to readers will be an article concerning the Fishery Protection Squadron of the RN In this, James Goldrick discusses the operations and organisation of the squadron before considering the possible relevance of the concept to the RAN It is a timely article in view of the Government s forthcoming review of civil coastal surveillance If an archetypal navy, such as the RN. can be extensively involved in civil law enforcement at sea, then why not the RAN?
Plans for SEAPOWER 81 are becoming firmer and a brochure announcing this Seminar and an advance registration form are ncluded in this Journal. The Organising Committee for SEAPOWER 81 will need help and assistance from other members in the months ahead and volunteers will be very welcome. If you feel you could make some time available to this worthy cause and will be resident in Canberra during the early months of 1981, then please contact the Seminar Director. Captain Nigel Berlyn. on Canberra phone 66 4284
Page 4 — Journal ol the Australian Naval Institute
It is with considerable regret that I record the death of noted naval historian and correspondent with this Journal, Mr Alan Payne At the time of his death, Alan was working on two articles for the Journal — one of which on his concept of the light frigate, based on the RN s Offshore Patrol Vessel Mk II, would have been published in this number of the Journal Alan Payne, through his writings, made a major contribution to naval history in Australia and to the public s awareness of the RAN. We will miss him.