Six ships home after busy year
The Royal Australian Navy is this month welcoming home more than 1000 personnel and six ships from maritime training exercises with regional partners.
The ships and their company have conducted port visits to more than 16 countries throughout the Indo-Pacific region.
Newly appointed Commander Australian Fleet Rear Admiral Chris Smith recognised the contribution of the returning men and women and their families.
“Officers and sailors from across the fleet can feel justifiably proud of their contribution protecting Australia’s national interests this year,” Rear Admiral Smith said.
“These regional presence deployments support Australia’s long-term security and prosperity by building deeper connections with our partners, which are vitally important in protecting the Australian community’s interests while promoting stability in the Indo-Pacific region.”
Guided missile destroyer HMAS Hobart returned to Fleet Base East in Sydney on December 16, after more than three months away.
While deployed, Hobart engaged with the Philippines, Japan and Singapore and participated in exercises Sama Sama Lumbus and Keen Sword, where Hobart integrated with the USS Ronald Reagan carrier strike group.
In the previous week, HMA Ships Stalwart, Anzac, Arunta and Adelaide returned to their respective homeports following similar integrated regional deployments.
“While we are seeing some of our biggest ships return to Australia for the Christmas break, the Navy continues to support constabulary operations and maintains a readiness to respond to contingencies 365 days of the year,” Rear Admiral Smith said.
The ships were deployed in task groups, with some supporting Australia’s flagship regional engagement activity, Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2022 (IPE22).
During IPE22, Adelaide and Anzac, along with 500 soldiers of the Australian Amphibious Force, worked with Indonesian marines to conduct a joint amphibious capability demonstration for the first time.
HMAS Brisbane will return from the Pacific later this month. The ship participated with RAAF in advanced training scenarios with the United States off the coast of Hawaii, increasing integration with US partners across multiple warfighting domains.