Hundreds of family and friends were in attendance to welcome the LHD back to Sydney, following its half-year deployment throughout Asia, with the ship's company lining the upper decks as she pulled alongside Garden Island.
The 230-metre vessel sailed almost 22,000 nautical miles during her deployment, visiting Sri Lanka, India, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore and Indonesia as part of the international engagement exercise INDO-PACIFIC ENDEAVOUR 2019, as well as participating in the bilateral maritime exercise AUSINDEX with the Indian Navy.
Canberra also conducted the first passage exercise between the Royal Australian Navy and the Vietnamese People’s Navy and supported the International Maritime Defence Expo 2019 in Singapore, as well as playing a key role in Exercise Ocean Explorer and the Joint Warfare Series, encompassing Exercise Sea Explorer, Sea Raider and Talisman Sabre 2019.
Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Michael Noonan, was on the wharf as Canberra arrived and said that the ship’s company had achieved many key milestones in international engagement and amphibious capability.
“HMAS Canberra has proven she is a versatile platform, able to lead multi-ship Task Groups to engage with our regional partners far from Australia, as well as played a key role in successful multi-national exercises,” VADM Noonan said.
“Working with our neighbours is vital to maintaining interoperability and protecting our common interests in promoting peace and stability in the region.”
Commanding Officer of HMAS Canberra, Captain Terry Morrison, said the deployment had been demanding but his ship’s company had met the challenge with enthusiasm.
“A deployment as long and far away as this can be hard work, but I am proud of the crew for their hard work and consistently representing the Royal Australian Navy as a professional force everywhere we sailed,” he said.
“I thank the families and friends of our ship’s company for supporting their loved ones while they’ve been deployed.
“Know you can be proud of how they have represented Australia these past six months away from home.”
Scroll through the image gallery above to see Canberra returning home, as well as some shots abroad.