The Navy frigate has returned to Australia after capping off an extended deployment, which concluded with a critical search and rescue mission.
After commencing a regional deployment alongside HMAS Sirius in early March, Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Anzac has returned to its homeport of Fleet Base West in Western Australia.
HMAS Anzac toured south-east Asia and the north-east Indian Ocean before being deployed on an emergency search and rescue mission in the southern Indian Ocean.
Assisted by RAAF P-8A Poseidon aircraft, HMAS Anzac sailed approximately 670 nautical miles west of Perth to provide support in the rescue of 20 Indonesian fishermen stranded on a sinking vessel.
The fishermen received medical treatment and accommodation on-board the ship, and were transported to a Perth hospital for urgent care.
The frigate then delivered the other 19 fishermen to their homeport in Bali on Friday.
Chief of Joint Operations, Lieutenant General Greg Bilton, congratulated the crew of HMAS Anzac for a timely response to the emergency.
“I would like to personally thank the ship’s company for their commitment and focus throughout this deployment, particularly after being recalled with their homeport in sight after almost three months at sea,” LTGEN Bilton said.
“HMAS Anzac had been focused on our long-standing program of international engagements with regional partners.
“This included bilateral and multilateral activities with Brunei, Canada, France, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and the United States.”
The ship’s Commanding Officer, Commander Brendan Horn, said training exercises had prepared the crew for the search and rescue mission.
“While deployed, we practiced and refined key mariner skills with other nations, so when we got the call to assist, we were ready to respond,” CMDR Horn said.
“We knew there were people in distress and everyone understood that assisting them in any way we could was the absolute priority.
“The men and women of Anzac are now grateful to be home with their loved ones again and we are very grateful for their support over the past two months – we couldn’t have done this without them.”
[Related: HMAS Ballarat joins Operation Argos]