Commander Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Jonathan Mead, AM, said the Adelaide Class frigates have been an indispensable part of Navy’s role in protecting Australia’s maritime interests for almost 40 years.
“Adelaide Class ships have formed the backbone of many Navy operations since 1980, serving with distinction on complex missions and cementing our reputation as one of the most professional and dependable navies in the world,” RADM Mead said.
Four of the six Adelaide Class frigates have already been retired, with HMA Ships Newcastle and Melbourne to retire later this year.
Newcastle will be decommissioned on 30 June 2019, while Melbourne will be retired in October.
“Like thousands of officers and sailors who had the privilege to serve on one of these great ships, the final voyage back to Australia by Newcastle will be bitter sweet for me, and the end of a defining era for Navy,” RADM Mead said.
Before returning to her home port at Garden Island in Sydney for the final time, Newcastle will visit her namesake city and participate in a number of events designed to reaffirm the special bond Navy shares with the people of Newcastle.
“As the only Royal Australian Navy ship to ever carry the Newcastle name, we are keen to thank Novocastrians for their support since she began serving Australia in 1993,” Commanding Officer of HMAS Newcastle, Commander Anita Sellick, CSM, said.
“With 10 Newcastle locals serving as crew members on my ship, our last visit to their home town will be especially memorable.”
HMAS Newcastle has sailed over 900,000 nautical miles in 25 years of service, and received battle honours for operations in East Timor, the Persian Gulf and the Middle East.
For photography of some of the ship's history, please scroll through the image gallery above.