A Momentous Occasion Celebrating Partnership
This Sunday, July 23, Canberra will witness a spectacular parade as members of the Royal Australian Navy and the United States Navy come together to commemorate the commissioning of USS Canberra, a formidable warship of the US Navy.
‘Freedom of Entry’ Parade
The ceremony, known as a ‘Freedom of Entry’ ceremony, will feature a vibrant parade starting from Veteran’s Park and making its way through the city along Northbourne Avenue, London Circuit, and Constitution Avenue, concluding at the National Convention Centre.
A Display of Unity
Commencing at 10 a.m., the parade is expected to last approximately 45 minutes and will see 100 members of USS Canberra accompanied by 100 members of HMAS Canberra proudly marching through the city, symbolizing the strong bond between the two navies.
The Challenge of Entry
At the heart of the ‘Freedom of Entry’ ceremony lies the ‘Challenge’ of entry. Deputy Commissioner Neil Gaughan APM, the Chief Police Officer of the ACT, will issue the Challenge to Commander Bobby Barber, the Commanding Officer of USS Canberra.
Members of the public keen on witnessing the parade and the Challenge are encouraged to gather at Civic Square. There, the ACT Chief Police Officer will deliver the Challenge and review the parade before granting access to the city.
Following the conclusion of the ceremony, the contingent will disperse at the National Convention Centre, marking the end of this grand occasion.
Map of the Route
Brendan Smyth, Commissioner for International Engagement said,
“The Freedom of Entry ceremony is a wonderful occasion for the community to come out and see the pageantry of the USS Canberra and HMAS Canberra crews parading together.”
“The commissioning of USS Canberra in Sydney, and the Freedom of Entry ceremony in Canberra, demonstrates the strong partnership and ties between Australia and the US, and our respective navies. We understand that both events are a world first.”
“It’s also an excellent opportunity for the US sailors to see a bit of our great city, connect with their ships namesake and the Canberra community. It’s a great opportunity for the people of Canberra to honor the crew of the ship named for our city.”