The Anzac Class frigate is en route to Australia after a six-month deployment, which included a contribution to the ongoing enforcement of UN sanctions on North Korea.
HMAS Arunta has completed deployment on Operation Argos — Australia’s contribution to international efforts to monitor and deter illegal shipments of sanctioned goods to North Korea, as part of United Nations’ Security Council Resolution 2397.
Operation Argos marked the final major commitment for the ship as part of a six-week deployment in the region, with HMAS Arunta scheduled to arrive at Fleet Base West, Western Australia, later this month.
Reflecting on the ship’s contribution to Operation Argos, Commanding Officer Arunta Commander Troy Duggan said the Anzac Class frigate detected and recorded a range of suspicious ship-to-ship transfers and vessels of interest during the operation.
“The operation produced plenty of results, both in terms of actual transfers witnessed and the collection of the details of several vessels of interest,” CMDR Duggan said.
“Gathering information, such as the names of vessels, their countries of registration and other characteristics, is important for further investigations by the United Nations and for building a pattern-of-life picture for this region.
“Furthermore, Arunta’s presence served as a further deterrent to those people behind the illegal activities taking place in this region.”
The vessel’s detection capabilities were supported by the MH-60R Seahawk helicopter, which Flight Commander Lieutenant Commander Ben Hammond said “significantly extended” the range of the ship.
“The range and reliability of this aircraft provided command with clear and concise knowledge of the area of operation at long range,” LCDR Hammond said.
“Essentially, it meant the ship could be directed to vessels of interest in what is a large and extremely congested area of ocean.”
After completing the operation, HMAS Arunta conducted a two-day logistics' visit to Sasebo Naval Base, Japan, before carrying out a passage exercise off the nation’s coast.