HMAS Success engineers blamed for sexual misconduct

Melbourne, Feb 22 (ANI): A report on the sexual misbehaviour aboard the Royal Australian Navy supply ship HMAS Success has blamed a small group of sailors in the engineering department.

Defence Minister Stephen Smith will table the first 400-page volume of the report in parliament, reported.

When Smith received the report late last month on the behaviour of the ship's crew and the way complaints were handled during and after a flag-showing voyage through Asia, he said it did not make pretty reading.

Senior defence force officers were dismayed by the strength of the allegations of sexual misconduct, intimidation and miscarriages of justice contained in the report.

Former judge Roger Gyles headed the commission of inquiry, which investigated allegations there was a tribal culture in the ship's engineering department.

Entitled 'The Asian Deployment and Immediate Aftermath', the report deals with issues that arose from events on board HMAS Success from March to May in 2009 when the ship was deployed on a flag-showing cruise to The Philippines, China, Hong Kong and Singapore.

Three senior sailors were removed from the ship in Singapore in May 2009 after allegations they were involved in a competition to see how many female sailors they could get into bed with.

The report confirms that the claims of sexual misbehaviour were true except for the claims of a "sex ledger", which was not found.

The investigation found serious failings of leadership aboard Success, especially among the engineering team.

The report concluded that such misbehaviour was not endemic in the navy at large, but an unhealthy culture evolved on Success because it was a single ship of its type and many crew remained on board for many years instead of being circulated around the navy as would normally happen. (ANI)

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