image-1 = images/HMASMelbourneIII/Photo-1.jpg
description-1 = HMAS Melbourne participates in Officer of the Watch Manoeuvres during Exercise Pacific Vanguard 19. Exercise PACVAN 19 is the first of a series of ongoing maritime training initiatives intended to enhance interoperability and strengthen practical co-operation between regional neighbours Australia, Japan, the Republic of Korea and the US. (Image courtesy of Defence)
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description-2 = HMAS Melbourne berthed alongside Guam Naval Base in Guam, during Exercise PACVAN 19. The Adelaide Class guided missile frigate will be decommissioned in October after nearly three decades of service in the RAN. (Image courtesy of Defence)
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image-3 = images/HMASMelbourneIII/Photo-3.jpg
description-3 = HMAS Melbourne sails out of Sydney Harbour in 2005 ahead of Exercise Ocean Protector. In the mid 2000s, Melbourne underwent a significant upgrade to maintain her effectiveness against contemporary threats, which included upgrades to the combat system, radars, sensors and new missiles. (Image courtesy of Defence)
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image-4 = images/HMASMelbourneIII/Photo-4.jpg
description-4 = HMAS Melbourne’s boarding party conducted a Flag Verification boarding on a dhow in the Gulf of Oman as part of the RAN contribution to Operation Slipper in 2012. (Image courtesy of Defence)
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description-5 = Members from HMAS Melbourne prepare to board a dhow in the Gulf of Oman as part of Operation Slipper. On completion, the boarding party disembarked and returned to HMAS Melbourne. This is a routine maritime operation, consistent with the Combined Maritime Forces aim to enhance good will and confidence of mariners in the area of operations, which spans over 2.5 million square miles. (Image courtesy of Defence)
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image-6 = images/HMASMelbourneIII/Photo-6.jpg
description-6 = Families and friends of HMAS Melbourne's crew cheer and wave as the ship prepares to berth alongside Fleet Base East, after six months away from home in the Middle East area of operations. (Image courtesy of Defence)
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description-7 = Flight deck party refuels an 816 Squadron Seahawk on the deck of HMAS Melbourne during a helicopter inflight refuelling in Jervis Bay, while conducting a series of internally led and evaluated training serials in the East Australian Exercise Area. Designed for helicopter operations, Melbourne is capable of embarking and employing the new MH-60R ‘Romeo’ helicopter, further extending the reach and lethality of the ship. With a full flight embarked, Melbourne can accommodate up to 232 officers and crew. (Image courtesy of Defence)
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image-8 = images/HMASMelbourneIII/Photo-8.jpg
description-8 = HMAS Melbourne's 76mm gun engages a surface target during her Unit Readiness Evaluation in the East Australian Exercise Area, off the coast of Sydney. HMAS Melbourne was undertaking mission readiness training in order to deploy as the 32nd rotation to the Middle East area of operations in support of Operation Slipper. (Image courtesy of Defence)
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image-9 = images/HMASMelbourneIII/Photo-9.jpg
description-9 = HMAS Melbourne firing a Nulka active missile decoy, one of the most successful electronic warfare projects undertaken in Australia. Nulka is in service with the RAN, the US Navy and the Canadian Navy. (Image courtesy of Defence)
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image-10 = images/HMASMelbourneIII/Photo-10.jpg
description-10 = A pirate skiff and whaler are engaged by HMAS Melbourne's embarked S70-B-2 Seahawk, Dominator, off the coast of Somalia, in the Arabian Sea in 2013. (Image courtesy of Defence)
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description-11 = The ship's company of HMAS Melbourne on the flight deck listen to an address from former defence minister David Johnston in Port Rashid, Dubai, in 2013. (Image courtesy of Defence)
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description-12 = HMAS Melbourne near MV Albedo, a sunken merchant vessel, off the coast of Somalia. Malaysian merchant ship MV Albedo was taken by Somali pirates in 2010. She remained at anchor off 'Grisby' pirate camp off the Somali coast where in July 2013 she sunk due to ingress of water into her hold. It wouldn't be until the next year that the crew of the merchant vessel were released by the pirates. (Image courtesy of Defence)
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image-13 = images/HMASMelbourneIII/Photo-13.jpg
description-13 = Crew members of HMAS Melbourne destroy the $706 million worth of seized drugs. HMAS Melbourne has intercepted a dhow in international waters off the coast of Africa that was allegedly smuggling a significant quantity of narcotics. Bags were discovered stowed in hidden compartments and weighed in at more than 350 kilograms. These were found to contain a powder that tested positive as heroin. (Image courtesy of Defence)
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Photo Essay: HMAS Melbourne returns home for final time
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Maritime and Undersea Warfare | 12 June 2019 | Louis Dillon
As the Royal Australian Navy’s oldest Adelaide Class frigate, HMAS Melbourne (III), returns home from her final overseas mission before her planned decommissioning in October, Defence Connect will showcase some of the moments from her nearly three decades of service.
The guided missile frigate has arrived at Gladstone Port in Queensland after a three-month deployment throughout the Asia-Pacific, and will now undertake the visitation of several local ports, including a farewell visit to Melbourne, where the ship was built.
HMAS Melbourne is the final Adelaide Class frigate to be withdrawn from service and will be decommissioned in Sydney on 26 October 2019.
Melbourne was commissioned in 1992, and has seen eight deployments to the Middle East region in the years since, serving in Operation DAMASK, SLIPPER, CATALYST and MANITOU.
She received battle honours for service in East Timor in 1999-2000, the Persian Gulf in 2001-03, and the Middle East from 2003-2014.
For a look at some of the moments that define HMAS Melbourne's past, click on the photo gallery above and scroll through the pictures.