Today the Minister for Defence Materiel, the Hon. Jason Clare MP, joined the Commander Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Stephen Gilmore AM CSC RAN and hundreds of family and friends in welcoming the 230 crew of HMAS Melbourne home to Sydney after a six month deployment in the Middle East.
“This has been a demanding deployment where the crew have carried out really important work,” Mr Clare said.
“In January the crew disrupted a pirate attack in progress onboard the British chemical tanker MV CPO China. This was just one of the 14 piracy distress calls the crew of HMAS Melbourne responded to during their deployment.
“This is difficult and dangerous work. Their efforts show Australian Defence Force personnel and equipment at their best.”
Mr Clare congratulated the Commanding Officer of HMAS Melbourne, Commander Michael Harris, RAN and his crew on a successful high-tempo operation.
Commander Harris said his Ship’s Company were incredibly proud of their achievements but were clearly excited and happy to be home.
“My crew have performed exceptionally well, during what was a highly complex and demanding six months.
“The men and women embarked on Melbourne have made a significant contribution to the safety of vessels in maritime corridors during her deployment, and I congratulate Melbourne’s crew for their dedication and professionalism and thank the family and friends of those who serve for their tireless support and love.”
“It is fantastic to be back in Sydney today with our family and friends; without their steadfast support the deployment would not have been so successful,” Commander Harris said.
HMAS Melbourne is an Adelaide Class Frigate capable of air defence, anti-submarine warfare, surveillance, interdiction and reconnaissance. It is the first Adelaide Class Frigate deployed to the Gulf following the FFG upgrade project which saw new missile and torpedo systems installed as part of extensive capability enhancements.
HMAS Melbourne was replaced on station by HMAS Stuart, which took over in mid January.
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