HMAS Penguin (naval base)

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For other ships with the same name, see HMAS Penguin.

HMAS Penguin is a shore establishment of the Royal Australian Navy located at Balmoral on the shore of Sydney Harbour in the suburb of Mosman, New South Wales. Penguin is one of the RAN's primary training establishments, with a responsibility for providing trained specialists for all areas of the navy.


Penguin was initially established as the Balmoral Naval Depot and was also known as Penguin II in 1941 as a depot for the RAN's main naval base at Garden Island (on Sydney Harbour). In addition to accommodation for 700 personnel, as well as all the necessary administrative facilities, the Balmoral Naval Hospital was built on the site. Penguin II was commissioned in July 1942, and was renamed as simply HMAS Penguin in January 1943, when the Garden Island facility was renamed HMAS Kuttabul. In addition to its role as a depot, Penguin served as a base for the motor launches responsible for patrolling Sydney Harbour.

After the end of World War II, Penguin began its service as a training establishment. The RAN Seamanship School was located at Penguin from 1945 to 1974, while from 1951 to 1954 it was the Navy's National Service Recruit School. Penguin has also played host to the RAN Staff College and the Security and Naval Police Coxswains School. In addition, a number of operational units of the RAN have been based at Penguin, including Clearance Diving Teams One and Two, and the Royal Navy's Fourth Submarine Squadron.


As part of the RAN Navy Systems Command, HMAS Penguin is home to several of the navy's major specialist training schools, including:

  • RAN Diving School
  • RAN Hydrographic School
  • Medical School - Penguin

In addition, Penguin was also home to the navy's principal medical facility, Balmoral Naval Hospital, which provided some of the trained personnel for the Primary Casualty Receiving Facilities [PCRF] on the RAN's Kanimbla class vessels. Balmoral Naval Hospital closed 13 March 2008 for refurbishment. The Navy's hospital care will be provided through a contract with St Vincent's Hospital, Sydney, located in Darlinghurst. As well as this, Penguin is the home of the Submarine and Underwater Medicine Unit [SUMU] and the RAN Recompression Chamber Facility. In 2006, Penguin received as lodger units both Headquarters and 1st Commando Company, 1st Commando Regiment.

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Coordinates: 33°49′40″S 151°15′31″E / 33.82773°S 151.25850°E / -33.82773; 151.25850