HMAS Cairns (naval base)
|Controlled by||Royal Australian Navy|
|Commander Tony Powell, RAN|
HMAS Cairns is a naval base of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) located in Cairns, Queensland. 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. This was formally commissioned in 1971 as a minor war vessel base.
HMAS Cairns is responsible for all Australian naval activity off north-eastern Australia, and is the home base for Ardent Division of the Australian Patrol Boat Group, the ships of the Royal Australian Navy Hydrographic Service, and several Balikpapan class landing craft.
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. There was no official RAN presence in Cairns until 1971, when facilities for the maintenance of the RAN's patrol boats were established. In 1974, HMAS Cairns was commissioned as the parent establishment for patrol vessels and hydrographic ships based at Cairns.
Cairns is currently responsible for all Australian naval activity from Rockhampton to Thursday Island and serves as the home base for Ardent Division of the Australian Patrol Boat Group, which consists of four of the navy's fourteen Armidale 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, plus four of the six Balikpapan class landing craft. Cairns also has operational responsibility for the LADS Flight based at Cairns Airport.
- Armidale class (Ardent Division)
- Balikpapan class
- Leeuwin class
- Paluma class
- "HMAS Cairns". Royal Australian Navy. Retrieved 18 October 2010.