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HMAS Ballarat returns home from Middle East
15 Jul 2019
HMAS Ballarat returned to Fleet Base West at Garden Island, Western Australia from maritime security operations in the Middle East on Sunday 14 July. Commander Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Jonathon Mead, AM, RAN joined family and friends to welcome the ship's company of 190 personnel home from their nine-month deployment to Operation MANITOU. The warship also seized and destroyed nearly half a million rounds of small arms ammunition and 697 bags of chemical fertiliser, which had potential use in the manufacture of improvised explosives. Ballarat’s illicit drug seizures included approximately 19.76 tonnes of hashish, 1.41 tonnes of heroin and 50 kilograms of methamphetamine and amphetamine.
NAIDOC ceremony at HMAS Albatross
12 Jul 2019
Secretary for Defence Mr Greg Moriarty visited HMAS Albatross on Thursday 11th July 2019, with the purpose of increasing his knowledge of Albatross, Fleet Air Arm (FAA) units and their capabilities. The Secretary toured the FAA Squadrons 723 and 808, the Helicopter Underwater Escape Training facility, the Aircraft Control Tower and engaged in Peoples Forum. Coinciding with the visit, the Secretary was able to take part in HMAS Albatross’ NADIOC activity featuring the traditional ‘Welcome to Country’, ochre blessing and smoking ceremony which was supported by the local indigenous ‘Doonooch” and RAN ‘Bungaree’ dancers who performed independently and together reflecting the 2019 theme ‘Let’s work together’.
Leading Seaman Vanessa Broughill during Warrior Games 2019
03 Jul 2019
Adaptive sports have helped an Adelaide based sailor overcome mental and physical adversity in the United States (U.S.) against five other country’s Defence Force members. LS Vanessa Broughill from, Joint Electronic Warfare Unit, Adelaide along with three other sailors formed the 23 strong combined ADF and Veteran Sport Australia (VSA) team representing Australia in the 2019 Department of Defense (DoD) Warrior Games held from June 21-30 in Tampa Bay. The Australian Defence Force and Veteran Sport Australia (VSA) have supported a combined team of 23 competitors, comprising of 11 former and 12 current serving military personnel to attend Warrior Games 2019. U.S. Special Operations Command are hosting the 2019 Department of Defense (DoD) Warrior Games from June 21-30 in Tampa Bay, Florida. Approximately 300 wounded, injured and ill serving and former serving military members are participating in the competition. The competition will bring together competitors from the United Kingdom Armed Forces, Australian Defence Force, Canadian Armed Forces, Armed Forces of the Netherlands, and the Danish Armed Forces and the United States (US). The US competitors will represent the United States Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Special Operations Command. Competitors will participate in 14 sports including, archery, cycling, time-trial cycling, shooting, sitting volleyball, swimming, track, ﬁeld, wheelchair basketball, indoor rowing, powerlifting, and for the ﬁrst time in Warrior Games history, golf, wheelchair tennis and wheelchair rugby. The Warrior Games were established in 2010 as a way to enhance the recovery and rehabilitation of wounded, injured and ill serving and former serving members and to expose them to adaptive sports. Sponsored by the U.S. Olympic Committee in Colorado Springs, Colo., the inaugural Warrior Games hosted approximately 200 wounded, injured and ill members. During the following years, the Warrior Games expanded in size and scope. Australia’s involvement in the Warrior Games is part of a broader adaptive sports program in which current and former serving wounded, injured and ill military personnel participate in a variety of competitions in the United States and Canada, as well as the Invictus Games, which will be held in May 2020 in the Hague, Netherlands.
HMAS Success decommissioning
01 Jul 2019
HMAS Success (II), the longest serving ship in Navy’s Fleet, has completed her service to the nation and was decommissioned at her homeport at Sydney’s Garden Island on Saturday, 29 June 2019. Success - dubbed the ‘Battle Tanker’ - has been a vital part of Navy’s capability over the past 33 years. The 157 metre-long Durance Class Replenishment Oiler was the last major vessel built at Cockatoo Island in Sydney and was the biggest ship in Navy’s Fleet at the time she was commissioned in 1986. Over more than three decades she sailed more than a million nautical miles and completed almost 3500 replenishments at sea around the world.
HMAS Newcastle decomissioning
30 Jun 2019
The Royal Australian Navy has celebrated the completion of 25 years of service by HMAS Newcastle at a ceremony to decommission the ship at her home port of Garden Island in Sydney. Since commissioning in 1993, Newcastle had steamed around 815,000 nautical miles, deployed on operations to the Middle East six times; earned battle honours for her service in East Timor, the Persian Gulf and the Middle East; and conducted peacekeeping operations in the Solomon Islands. Newcastle also undertook a number of humanitarian operations, including rescuing two injured yachtsman from the Solo Global Challenger in the tragic 1998 Sydney to Hobart yacht race and rescuing the crew of Ocean Rowing Boat Transventure in 2003. Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC, said that Newcastle had been essential in protecting Australia’s maritime interests. Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Michael Noonan AO, RAN said the Ship’s Company were honoured to be the last crew to serve in Newcastle and was pleased the occasion could be shared with many former Ship’s Company, who attended the decommissioning ceremony. HMAS Newcastle is being decommissioned to make way for the Hobart class guided missile destroyers, which will provide Australia with an improved war fighting capability.
HMAS Ballarat conducts boarding
28 Jun 2019
While deployed to the Middle East Region for Operation MANITOU, HMAS Ballarat has conducted a boarding of a vessel (dhow) in international waters in the Arabian Sea. During the boarding, illicit cargo was discovered and seized which included nearly half a million rounds of small arms ammunition, and 697 bags of chemical fertiliser. The fertiliser has possible dual use for the manufacture of improvised explosives. This seizure is of significant concern to maritime security, in particular the illicit proliferation of ammunition and chemicals which could be used to produce explosives. HMAS Ballarat has safely disposed of the seized items and has resumed routine tasking. HMAS Ballarat has conducted 38 boardings since deploying to the Middle East on Operation MANITOU in November 2018. During this time the crew of HMAS Ballarat has stopped illegal narcotics in excess of AUD $1 billion from funding terrorism and other illegal activity. This is the second deployment to the Middle East for HMAS Ballarat and the 67th rotation of a Royal Australian Navy vessel in the region since 1990. Operation MANITOU is the name for the Australian Government's contribution to support international efforts to promote maritime security, stability and prosperity in the Middle East Region.