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HMAS Darwin Decommissioning ceremony
12 Dec 2017
HMAS Darwin was decommissioned in Sydney on 9 December 2017, after 33 years’ service to the Royal Australian Navy. Since commissioning in 1984, the Adelaide Class frigate visitied more than 50 countries, steamed over a million nautical miles and been involved in operations in the Middle East seven times, East Timor, and the Solomon Islands. HMAS Darwin was awarded battle honours three times for her successful martiime security operations in East Timor (1999), the Persian Gulf (2002/3) and Iraq (2003). In 2016 HMAS Darwin made three multi-million doller seizures of heroin off the coast of Africa. Later that year, the ship supported humanitarian and disaster relief operations in New Zealand, following the Kaikoura earthquake.
Make-A-Wish "Operation Kingsman"
11 Dec 2017
Make-A-Wish Australia, The Royal Australian Navy and The Australian Federal Police joined forces for a very special cause over the weekend, which saw a young boy’s spectacular wish come true. 12-year-old Daniel wished “to ride in a police car, fly in a helicopter and head out to sea on a battleship” as he has always felt a special connection with emergency services and the armed forces, being born on Anzac Day. The wish, dubbed ‘Operation Kingsman’, came to life over two magical days across Canberra and New South Wales. Daniel enjoyed a police escort to his own helicopter where he flew across the skies to HMAS Creswell, in Jervis Bay, to spend the night in the establishment’s cabins. Daniel then boarded HMAS Hobart, where he executed his mission aboard the ship with Commanding Officer Captain John Stavridis. The Australian Navy and Australian Federal Police embraced the wish and supported Daniel throughout his mission to ensure that he felt like one of the crew.
HMAS Newcastle return to Australia
04 Dec 2017
HMAS Newcastle returned to her home port of Fleet Base East, Garden Island, Sydney following a six month deployment to the Middle East region. The deployment, under Operation Manitou, was the ship's sixth and final deployment to the region. Operation Manitou is the Australian Government's contribution to support international efforts to promote maritime security, stability and prosperity in the Middle East region. An enhanced security environment ensures Australia's safe and open access to the region while fostering trade and commerce.
Retirement ceremony for S-70B-2 Seahawk and AS350BA Squirrel
04 Dec 2017
On Friday 1 December, 2017, HMAS Albatross conducted ceremonial divisions. Divisions were hosted by Commander Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Stuart Mayer, CSC and Bar, RAN, and reviewed by Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Tim Barrett, AO, CSC, RAN. The occasion marked the withdrawal from Royal Australian Navy (RAN) Service of the S-70B-2 Seahawk (Bravo) and the AS350BA Squirrel helicopters. Having served all three services of the ADF the Squirrel has accrued more than 179,000 flying hours in its 33 years of service. In the case of Navy the Squirrel has served in both peace and on war and war-like operation becoming affectionately known as the ‘Battle Budgie’. The Seahawk has given the RAN more than 29 years of service accruing in excess of 88,000 flight hours. The ‘Bravo’ of 816 Squadron has been on continuous operational service since 1990; at total of 27 years and 54 rotations to the Middle East Region.
Medical Evacuation in the Indian Ocean
27 Nov 2017
The Australian Defence Force (ADF) has completed its support to an Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) led medical evacuation operation off the coast of Western Australia with successful transfer of a patient to Fremantle today. Support to the operation first commenced on Saturday, 18th November, with a Royal Australian Air Force C-17A Globemaster airdropping medical supplies and equipment to a sailing vessel approximately 1800nm off the WA coast. The Defence-contracted vessel MV Stoker then proceeded to sail from Fremantle with four Royal Australian Navy medical personnel including a doctor to assist in the stabilisation and transfer of the patient at sea for evacuation to Fremantle. The patient has now been successfully landed in Fremantle and is receiving ongoing civilian medical treatment.
HMAS Adelaide visits Kokoda Track
22 Nov 2017
An Australian Defence Group (ADF) Joint Task Group, Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2017, is participating in a series of key military exercises throughout the Indo-Pacific region. Running from September to November, Indo-Pacific Endeavour will focus on enhancing military cooperation with some of Australia’s key regional partners including Indonesia, Japan, India, Malaysia, Singapore, the Republic of Korea, the Philippines, Brunei, Timor-Leste, Thailand, Cambodia and the Federated States of Micronesia. The deployment, in planning for more than 12 months, is part of ongoing efforts to enhance and develop strong positive relations with regional militaries through both dialogue and practical activities. The Joint Task Group will demonstrate the ADF's ability to operate across the full spectrum of military operations, from high-end military capabilities such as anti-submarine warfare to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. HMAS Adelaide will be accompanied at various stages of the deployment by HMAS Melbourne, HMAS Darwin, HMAS Toowoomba, HMAS Parramatta, and HMAS Sirius, making it the biggest coordinated task group deployment in many decades. Indo-Pacific Endeavour will also involve service personnel from the Australian Army and Royal Australian Air Group and include Defence civilians, ADF helicopters, and fixed wing aircraft.