HMAS Melbourne has returned to her homeport of Sydney for the final time, bringing a close to her last journey for the Royal Australian Navy.
Melbourne entered Fleet Base East at Garden Island with her decommissioning pennant and battle ensign flying one last time, after 27 years in service with the RAN.
Melbourne’s current Commanding Officer, Commander Marcus Buttler, said bringing the 138-metre-long warship home for the last time left him with mixed emotions.
“There was definitely a stinging feeling knowing that this was the moment when Melbourne’s engines would shut down for the final time and her seagoing life was over,” CMDR Buttler said.
“At the same time, it was the end of an amazing journey for a fantastic ship with an outstanding crew and I felt immensely proud to be Melbourne’s last Commanding Officer.
“HMAS Melbourne has kept up a high tempo right to the end, which is a testament to the love this crew has for her.”
Leading Seaman Boatswains Mate Adam Hamburger said being part of Melbourne’s final voyage was extremely satisfying after being a member of ship’s company for the past seven years.
“I’ve served in Melbourne for over a third of my 20-year career, so to be part of her final crew, representing the ship and everything she has achieved, is a special experience,” LS Hamburger said.
“Thousands of people have served in this ship and I’m proud of our own contributions to her legacy.”
HMAS Melbourne is the final Adelaide Class frigate to be withdrawn from service and will be decommissioned in Sydney on 26 October 2019.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.
Click through the photo gallery above for a look at Melbourne returning to Fleet Base East for the final time.