SYDNEY (NNS) -- The chief of naval operations (CNO) and his counterpart of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) presented long overdue awards at the HMAS Waterhen to veterans for serving in Vietnam during a ceremony Oct. 1.
CNO Adm. Gary Roughead, along with Chief of Navy, Royal Australian Navy Vice Adm. Russ Crane, had the honor of presenting two United States Navy Unit Commendations to 43 members of the Clearance Diving Team (CDT) 3 and their family members for their service to Australia in the Vietnam War alongside the United States Navy.
Roughead expressed the importance of recognizing the dedication and the commitment of our service members around the world and their contributions for serving in harms way that give our nations the liberty and freedom we have today.
"United States Sailors have many, many reasons to admire and to thank our enduring and stalwart shipmates in the Royal Australian Navy, and the exploits of CDT 3 in the inland waters of Vietnam four decades ago are of a piece with the shared dedication Australian and American sailors have demonstrated since the War in the Pacific," Roughead said.
"My hope that today's ceremony typifies our mutual commitment to that end, conveys how our sailors' achievements live on in our memories," Roughead continued, "and how they will more brightly stand in the annals of naval history for future generations to discover."
Crane said the RAN motto, "United and Undoubted," speaks of CDT 3's service during the Vietnam War and the significant mark they left in naval history.
"Although the smallest unit Australia deployed numbering no more than six at the time, they built on WWII's lessons in bomb disposal and mind clearance to create a enviable reputation for extreme courage, innovation and expertise."
CNO said the relationship between the U.S. Navy and the Royal Australian Navy has always been and will continue to be a strong maritime partnership with a shared dedication in the Pacific and around the world's oceans.
The ceremony recognized the 43 members of CDT 3 for their contributions to the Vietnam War between 1968 and 1973 as Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit Pacific (Teams 21 and 35).
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