The 16th MINESWEEPING SQUADRON Reunion will be held in November this year to mark the 50th Anniversary of the Confrontation.
RAN   16th Minesweeping Squadron The Water Front The Water Front

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Wishing Everyone a Happy New Year and Prosperous 2018

The 16th Naval Ensign - The  Captain Inshore Flotilla Flag

This flag has been seen very rarely in public as it was only used when the Captain of the fleet was on board the lead ship.

Flag owned by Chap. Bob Downs

photo © The estate of the Late ATJones and used with kind permission

Minesweepers of the 16th Squadron

The Minesweepers were ships designed to locate and destroy naval mines Naval mines are anti-ship or anti-submarine weapons which, like land-mines, are static weapons deposited and left to wait until they are triggered by the approach of an enemy ship (depth charge). They are extremely effective and relatively cheap weapons.

Naval mines can be used both offensively, to hamper the enemy's shipping and lock him into his harbours, as well as defensively to protect friendly shipping and create "safe" zones,placed in the sea by enemies. The same ships are sometimes used for mine laying.

On board, these vessels include specialised sonar Sonar (Sound Navigation And Ranging) is a technique that uses sound propagation under water to navigate or to detect other watercraft. There are two kinds of sonar, active and passive.

Active sonar

Active sonar creates a pulse of sound, often called a "ping", and then listens for reflections of the pulse. To measure the distance to an object, one measures the time from emission of a pulse to reception. To measure the bearing, one uses several hydrophones, and measures the relative arrival time to each in a process called beam-forming and radar.


is an acronym for (RAdio Detection And Ranging). It is a system used to detect, range (determine the distance of), and map objects such as aircraft and rain. Strong radio waves are transmitted, and a receiver listens for any echoes. By analysing the reflected signal, the reflector can

be located, and sometimes identified. Although the amount of signal returned is tiny, radio signals can easily be detected and amplified, to detect and track mines. To avoid detonation of mines, they are designed to produce much less noise than other ships.

Alternately, minesweepers are equipped with powerful electromagnetic degaussing fields to neutralise their magnetic field and/or jammers.

There is a blurred distinction between a minesweeper and a mine hunter. A minesweeper is generally designed to clear an area of a large number of relatively simple mines - for example towing a wire sweep to cut loose floating contact mines or a floating cable energised with powerful electric current pulses to detonate magnetic mines. A mine hunter is a ship which is better equipped to handle more modern mines which need to be individually located on the sea bed and destroyed. Both kinds of ships are sometimes collectively called MCMVs - mine counter-measure vessels.

Towing underwater cables are sometimes used for minesweeping,their weaponry is mostly designed for the destruction of mines (specialized

mortars and short-range torpedoes)

Flag Adopted: 14 April 1954

Flag Proportion: 1:2

Use: State, Civil and Military Flag and State Ensign

In vexillological terms, the Australian flag is a

defaced British blue ensign (the State Ensign of the

United Kingdom).

In the upper hoist (canton) of the flag is the Union

Flag (i.e. the State and Civil Flag of the United

Kingdom, popularly called the Union Jack). On the fly

are 5 white stars, representing the Southern Cross,

a constellation of stars generally only visible in the

southern hemisphere. Each of these stars has 7

points except for the smallest star which has only


Directly below the Union Flag is a large 7 pointed

white star called the Federation Star, representing

the federation of the colonies of Australia on 1

January 1901. There is one point for each of the six

original states, and one to represent all of

Australia's internal and external territories.

The Australian



The Royal Australian



Flag Adopted:1 March 1967

Flag Proportion: 1:2

Use: Naval Ensign

The Naval Ensign is a white ensign version of the

Australian National Flag, for use by official

Government naval defence forces (i.e. the Royal

Australian Navy) and on RAN on-shore establishments.

From the time the Royal Australian Navy was formed

in 1911 until 1967, all its ships flew the White Ensign

of the UK, i.e. the Royal Navy Ensign.

In March 1967, the Holt Government adopted a new

design, one consistent with the design of the other

two Australian Flags but with a white field.

This change was made at the request of the British

Government which was concerned about the

possibility of attacks on Royal Navy vessels near

Vietnam, though the United Kingdom was not

involved in the Vietnam War.

Copyright © Ausflag Ltd

This badge is the current emblem of the RAN.

The Royal Australian



The naval crown is an ancient emblem, a somewhat

similar design composed of the beaks and sterns of

galleys having been in use by the Romans. Modified

to represent the stern and sails of a man of war it has

appeared in heraldry throughout Europe, and was

often granted as a crest coronet or charge to naval

officers of distinction, of whom nelson is the most

obvious example in the UK.

Use of the Naval Crown has been somewhat eclipsed

in recent years by the adoption of a logo

incorporating the White Ensign above the words

Royal Navy, but it still remains the official Badge of

the Royal Navy and in widespread use.

Extract from The Royal Navy (C) website.





All Hands on Deck

To man the sails, go aloft, or defend the ship in action, 'All hands on deck' was one of the commands blown by the Bosun's Mates on this whistle or 'call'.

Each section of the Bosun's Call has a nautical name. The ball is the buoy; the mouthpiece is the gun; the ring is called the shackle and the leaf is called the keel.

There is a lot of information on the internet about the Bosuns, or Boatswains Whistles and a lot of replicas for sale as well on places like militaria sites and ebay.

The English Naval fleet started to use them back in the 1300s and there is documentation to suggest they were used earlier.

These days the call is used as a mark of  respect for visiting dignitaries and for marking special occasions. The Admiral  of the fleet had gold whistles, the Bosuns had silver.

Here are a few of the call notes.

The Bosuns call which used to be the only method of sending orders around a ship, is richly steeped in Naval history.

RAN Minesweeping Logistics

Naval Flags and Emblems

Reproduced with

 permission ©

The Bosuns’ Call