The fighting ships of four Common wealth nations steamed into Singapore today (Friday) in a five-mile convoy in what may be the last ceremonial entry into the giant British Sembawang naval base.
AV Fleet up Johore Straits
MS Malaysian patrol boat pen to others.
AV Ships tilt helicopters overhead.
VS Helicopters tilt to ships.
MLS British destroyer FIFE
AV Fleet-Fife in F/G
MS Australian carrier Melbourne.
MS Melbourne tilt helicopters overhead.
MS Submarine RMAS Oxley.
MLS New Zealand frigate, TARANAKI.
AV Fleet-TARANAKI in F/G.
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Background: The fighting ships of four Common wealth nations steamed into Singapore today (Friday) in a five-mile convoy in what may be the last ceremonial entry into the giant British Sembawang naval base.
The 41 ships from Australian, Britain, Malaysia and New Zealand were returning from "Operation Crackshot" in the South China Sea-a warm-up prelude to the climax of Exercise Dersatur Padu, the five-nation Commonwealth land, sea and air exercise on the east coast of Malaysia later this month.
Four Malaysian coastal patrol boats led the arrowhead formation into the Sembawang base which Britain will turn over to the Singapore Government during its withdrawal of forces the Far East by the end of 1971.
As the ships steamed up the Johore Straits, thirty British and Australian helicopters flew over the joint fleet. The convoy was made up of 13 Malaysian ships, 14 British, eight Australian including the aircraft carrier Melbourne, and one New Zealand frigate.
"Operation Crackshot", which lasted eleven days, involved training in weapons and tactics and how to handle attacks from enemy aircraft. The ships also stood at anchor for two days for training in stationary defence methods and ended with night exercises of refuelling at sea and transferring stores.
Most of the fleet will leave Singapore on June 11th to be in position in the South China Sea for a dawn helicopter assault on the east Malaysian coast by British commandos on June 13th.