Greg Combet, Minister for Defence Materiel and Science, today welcomed Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Stuart back to her homeport of Garden Island, Sydney, just in time for Anzac Day.
Returning from a six-month deployment to the Middle East Area of Operations, the Anzac-class frigate, carrying 185 men and women, was welcomed alongside by Mr Combet and Commander Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Stephen Gilmore AM CSC RAN, along with family and friends.
Mr Combet congratulated Commanding Officer HMAS Stuart, Commander Andrew Masters RAN, on the ship’s successful deployment.
“Stuart contributed to maritime operations in the Persian Gulf, countering piracy off the Horn of Africa and providing maritime security,” Mr Combet said.
“Stuart also contributed greatly to coalition efforts in the Middle East, undertaking operations in the Gulf of Aden, Arabian Gulf and Gulf of Oman as part of Operation SLIPPER.
“I congratulate the Ship’s Company for their professionalism and commitment throughout the long deployment. Their efforts have built upon the outstanding reputation of the Australian Defence Force in the Middle East.
“I thank the families and friends of those returning from the Gulf for their ongoing support. The men and women of Stuart are the pride of the nation and we will reflect on their dedication and service on Anzac Day tomorrow,” Mr Combet said.
Commanding Officer Andrew Masters said, “The crew of Stuart has worked tirelessly and conducted themselves with professionalism and dedication in challenging conditions. It is wonderful to be back in Sydney and to see the family and friends we have all missed.”
This is the third time that Stuart has been deployed to the Gulf, with the frigate’s return marking the completion of Navy’s 22nd rotation since September 2001.
HMAS Stuart has been replaced by HMAS Parramatta, which left Garden Island in March.
Australian Ministry of Defence