The LHD vessel has concluded a three-week deployment across the Indo-Pacific, which included participation in major multinational exercises.
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Royal Australian Navy (RAN) landing helicopter dock (LHD) ship HMAS Canberra has set sail for its home port in Sydney following a three-month regional deployment in the Pacific.
The ship departed in June alongside Anzac Class frigate HMAS Warramunga and Supply Class auxiliary oiler replenishment (AOR) ship HMAS Supply.
HMAS Canberra left Townsville with personnel from the Australian Army, His Majesty’s Armed Forces of Tonga and the Sri Lankan Marines, which participated in Exercise Rim of the Pacific 2022 (RIMPAC).
With its RAN sister ships, the LHD vessel travelled to Hawaii with US and Japanese counterparts as part of Exercise Noble Partners.
After arriving in Pearl Harbor, HMAS Canberra joined HMAS Warramunga and Supply, as well as platforms from 25 other nations for RIMPAC.
During the tactical sea phase, the vessel supported the deployment of two United States MV-22B Osprey aircraft.
Commanding Officer of HMAS Canberra, Captain Jace Hutchison reflected: “We also integrated medical specialists from New Zealand and the United States to work in our hospital, providing important interoperability exercises for the medical community.”
Following the three-week RIMPAC sea phase, HMAS Canberra returned to Pearl Harbor for a second port visit.
HMA ships Canberra and Warramunga then departed the port to take part in Operation Render Safe off the coast of Nauru, during which a Royal Solomon Islands Police Force explosive ordnance disposal officer joined specialist ADF members to dispose of World War II-era unexploded ordnance.
HMAS Canberra reportedly provided a “Role 2 Enhanced” hospital capability with its embarked Maritime Operation Health Unit, working alongside HMAS Warramunga’s MH-60R Seahawk helicopter to deliver aeromedical evacuation support to the disposal teams in Nauru.
HMAS Canberra is scheduled to return to its home port of Fleet Base East, Sydney in early September.
CAPT Hutchison lauded the efforts of RAN personnel during the deployment.
“We have thoroughly enjoyed our time away but there is nothing like returning to home shores,” CAPT Hutchison said.
“It will be fantastic to see all the families and loved ones on the wharf – their support and encouragement really enables us to go to sea and do our job.”