NEWS | Sept. 14, 2021

NUWC Division Newport partnership with Royal Australian Navy highlighted during tour by consul general

By NUWC Division Newport Public Affairs

Nicholas Greiner, consul general for the Commonwealth of Australia in New York and Northeast United States, and political advisor Iona Main, visited the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Division Newport on Sept. 2 to learn more about the partnership between NUWC and the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).

The NUWC-RAN partnership centers on improving the Collins-class diesel submarine by updating its capabilities and managing its life cycle.

Trevor Kelly-Bissonnette, director of international cooperation at NUWC Headquarters, and Cmdr. Neil Carson, head of the Joint Program Office (JPO) for Australia and the U.S., located at Division Newport, hosted the visit. The JPO at NUWC has six Australian positions assigned, working closely with their U.S. counterparts in Division Newport’s Undersea Warfare (USW) Combat Systems Department and USW Weapons, Vehicles and Defensive Systems Department. The Australian component includes two uniformed personnel from the RAN, two civilian staff from the Australian Public Service and two personnel from the Defence Science and Technology Group.

“Australia is unique in that they don’t just want to buy, they want to look under the hood,” Kelly-Bissonnette said. “The consul general and his staff were surprised at the level of teaming and pleased with what they learned.”

Grenier’s visit, along with a visit by Australian Ambassador Arthur Sinodinos in May, demonstrates the importance of the Australia/U.S. relationship to Australia, Kelly-Bissonnette said.  

Carson explained why that partnership is so important.

“As Australia transitions to a new class of conventionally powered submarine in the early 2030s, it is important that Australia remains as interoperable with the U.S. as possible, leveraging their significantly larger industrial and technological base but providing support and unique, niche capabilities in return,” Carson said. “In order to achieve this, it is important that we bring the Australian public support onside to support us in our endeavors. Given the often secretive nature of our line of work, visits like this are all the more important to educate our ministers and career politicians of the strength of our allied relationship. The last two visits to NUWC by Australian [dignitaries] have been remarkably successful in this regard.”

The job of a consul general is to build international relations and promote the interests of his or her home country and the foreign country in which he or she is currently residing. Greiner resides in New York and is Australia’s consul general for a region that includes 10 states from Ohio to Maine. Before becoming a consul general, Greiner was premier and treasurer of New South Wales, Australia's largest state, and federal president of the Liberal Party of Australia. He was also minister for Ethnic Affairs and minister for Aboriginal Affairs.

September marks the 70th anniversary of the Australia, New Zealand and U.S. Security Treaty, aka ANZUS, which was signed on Sept. 1, 1951. The treaty is designed to guarantee security in the Pacific region.

On the anniversary, President Joseph R. Biden Jr. spoke with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison about the importance of the alliance between the two countries. For more information, visit https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2021/09/02/readout-of-president-joseph-r-biden-jr-s-call-with-prime-minister-scott-morrison-of-australia/

NUWC Division Newport is a shore command of the U.S. Navy within the Naval Sea Systems Command, which engineers, builds and supports America’s fleet of ships and combat systems. NUWC Newport provides research, development, test and evaluation, engineering and fleet support for submarines, autonomous underwater systems, undersea offensive and defensive weapons systems, and countermeasures associated with undersea warfare.

NUWC Newport is the oldest warfare center in the country, tracing its heritage to the Naval Torpedo Station established on Goat Island in Newport Harbor in 1869. Commanded by Capt. Chad Hennings, NUWC Newport maintains major detachments in West Palm Beach, Florida, and Andros Island in the Bahamas, as well as test facilities at Seneca Lake and Fisher's Island, New York, Leesburg, Florida, and Dodge Pond, Connecticut.