Australia — HMAS Stuart welcome home from Middle East Area of Operations

Stephen Smith MP Min­is­ter for Defence, Fleet Base East
I thank the Com­mand­ing Offi­cer, HMAS Kut­tab­ul, Com­man­der Chris­tine Clarke for that intro­duc­tion.
I acknowl­edge: Her Excel­len­cy Pro­fes­sor Marie Bashir, the Gov­er­nor of New South Wales; Marie Ficar­ra MLC, rep­re­sent­ing the Pre­mier of New South Wales; Tania Plibersek, Min­is­ter for Human Ser­vices and the Mem­ber for Syd­ney; John Alexan­der, rep­re­sent­ing the Leader of the Oppo­si­tion; Coun­cil­lor Phillip Black, rep­re­sent­ing the Lord May­or of Syd­ney; Rear Admi­ral Steve Gilmore, Com­man­der Aus­tralian Fleet; Com­modore Stephen McDowall, Com­man­der Sur­face Forces, Com­man­der Brett Son­ter, Com­mand­ing Offi­cer HMAS Stu­art; ship’s com­pa­ny of HMAS Stu­art; fam­i­lies and friends of the ships com­pa­ny of HMAS Stu­art.

Today we wel­come home the ships com­pa­ny of the Tar­tan Ter­ror, HMAS Stu­art as she returns from a six month deploy­ment to the Mid­dle East on the Aus­tralian Navy’s 25th rota­tion of Oper­a­tion SLIPPER

This was HMAS Stuart’s fourth rota­tion to the Gulf since oper­a­tions began and fol­lows pre­vi­ous rota­tions in 2004, 2008 and 2009. 

Dur­ing her deploy­ment, HMAS Stu­art pro­vid­ed mar­itime secu­ri­ty around the Horn of Africa, con­duct­ed counter-pira­cy and anti-smug­gling oper­a­tions in the Gulf of Aden and sup­port­ed the counter-ter­ror­ism activ­i­ties of inter­na­tion­al com­mu­ni­ty partners. 

These oper­a­tions help devel­op and main­tain mar­itime secu­ri­ty and pro­mote sta­bil­i­ty and prosperity. 

HMAS Stu­art con­tin­ued the excel­lent work of Roy­al Aus­tralian Navy ships before her in the Mid­dle East. 

HMAS Stu­art and her crew lived up to the ship’s mot­to “always pre­pared” and her core val­ues of readi­ness and vigilance. 

These are fine tra­di­tions of the HMAS Stu­art and go back to the ship’s short notice oper­a­tion to appre­hend the North Kore­an ves­sel Pong Su in 2003 and the res­cue of US sailors from the US patrol boat USS Fire­bolt in 2004. 

You embod­ied these val­ues through your pio­neer­ing sea swap tri­al from the HMAS Bal­larat to the HMAS Stu­art in July 2010 and through what you have achieved on your deployment. 

You con­duct­ed more than 300 ves­sel queries and 30 boardings. 

Most notable of your achieve­ments was the Stuart’s res­cue of three Yemeni fish­er­men held hostage by Soma­li pirates off the Horn of Africa, and the dis­abling, by live-fire, of an unoc­cu­pied skiff being towed by the pirat­ed ship, Mer­chant Ves­sel Sinar Kudus. 

HMAS Stu­art and her com­pa­ny have made an invalu­able con­tri­bu­tion to inter­na­tion­al efforts to counter piracy. 

Your fam­i­ly and friends can be proud of what you have achieved as a crew and the chal­lenges that you have met. 

To the fam­i­ly and friends of the ships com­pa­ny, the peri­od of absence dur­ing HMAS Stuart’s deploy­ment has been tough and no doubt at times filled with sad­ness. Your sup­port has been invaluable. 

The ship’s com­pa­ny have adopt­ed the Navy val­ues of Courage, Hon­our, Hon­esty, Integri­ty and Loyalty. 

These are the val­ues that you aspire to as offi­cers and sailors of the Roy­al Aus­tralian Navy. 

These are the val­ues expect­ed of you by your col­leagues. These are the val­ues that hold you in good stead with our inter­na­tion­al part­ners and con­tribute to Australia’s inter­na­tion­al stand­ing and regard. 

There will be hap­pi­ness as fam­i­ly and friends greet loved ones today, and the ships com­pa­ny should know that we are all very proud of the work you have done and the sac­ri­fices you have made. 

We hon­our what you do and what you have done. Aus­tralia hon­ours what you do and what you have done. 

On behalf of the Par­lia­ment, and all Aus­tralians, we thank you for your service. 

Your fam­i­ly, your friends and your nation wel­come you home to friend­ly shores. 

Press release
Min­is­te­r­i­al Sup­port and Pub­lic Affairs,
Depart­ment of Defence,
Can­ber­ra, Australia 

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