Atlantic & Peninsula Australia’s ongoing maintenance and support of the Bay class Landing Ship Dock HMAS Choules played a crucial role in its urgent deployment to help Australia’s Operation Bush Fire Assist (BFA).

Extensive work carried out by Atlantic & Peninsula Australia during the vessel’s 2019 Intermediate Docking was particularly important to the success of the vessel’s operation.  Complete refurbishment of the galley allowed HMAS Choules to accommodate more than 1,000 evacuees and provide more than 4,000 meals over a 20 hour period.    Other upgrades, major overhauls and heavy maintenance ensured that HMAS Choules operated at a full and improved capability to support this mission.

In total, HMAS Choules evacuated 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 providing 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 secured the first In Service Support (ISS) contract of its kind with the Australian Government in 2015 for the provision of ongoing maintenance and engineering support to HMAS Choules. 

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