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HMAS Warramunga departs on first regional deployment for 2024

The crew of HMAS Warramunga form up as the ship departs Fleet Base East for an Indo-Pacific presence deployment. Photo: ABIS Benjamin Ricketts

Anzac Class frigate HMAS Warramunga has departed Sydney on the Australian Defence Force’s first regional presence deployment for 2024.

Anzac Class frigate HMAS Warramunga has departed Sydney on the Australian Defence Force’s first regional presence deployment for 2024.

The Royal Australian Navy warship is on track for a three-month deployment through south and Southeast Asia for a range of exercises, cooperative activities, and joint patrols with partner navies.

The ship and its embarked MH-60R Seahawk helicopter and 200-strong ship crew, left the homeport of Sydney on 23 January on the regional presence deployment which will conclude in late April.


Commander Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Chris Smith, AM, CSM, RAN, said the resumption of regional presence deployments in 2024 continued a long history of successful deployments in support of Indo-Pacific security and relationship building.

“Indo-Pacific deployments demonstrate the Australian Defence Force’s ability to maintain a near continuous presence in the region to support regional security and stability,” RADM Smith said.

“Australia has maintained a robust program of international engagement with regional nations for decades and these routine deployments demonstrate our resolve for a peaceful, secure, and prosperous Indo-Pacific.”

Since commissioning in 2001, HMAS Warramunga’s combat capabilities, sensors, weapons systems communications technologies, and crew facilities have been progressively upgraded to keep pace with rapidly advancing naval technologies and enable interoperability with partner navies.

Late last year, HMA ships Toowoomba, Stalwart, Brisbane, and Choules returned to Australia in December following a three-month regional deployment in north-east and Southeast Asia.

During their regional presence, the task group completed activities with partner nations, including Canada, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Defence announced in October 2023 that the ships would contribute to Operation Argos, the international effort to enforce United Nations Security Council sanctions on North Korea.

HMAS Choules also assisted the 2023 Pacific Games, deploying to Honiara in support of the Australian Federal Police and Royal Solomon Islands Police.

HMA ships Toowoomba and Stalwart returned to HMAS Stirling in Western Australia, and HMA ships Brisbane and Choules returned to HMAS Kuttabul in NSW.

More than 700 Australian personnel took part in that regional presence deployment.

Vice Admiral Mark Hammond, Chief of Navy, said the 2023 deployments were essential for supporting Australia’s relationship with the Pacific family of nations.

“It’s a privilege to welcome home the crews of HMA ships Toowoomba, Stalwart, Brisbane, and Choules from their regional deployments, where they made notable contributions to Australia’s reputation through diplomacy in cooperation with our partners and allies,” VADM Hammond said.

“These ships are impressive capabilities, but it is our people who get the job done. During their deployments, each one of these sailors has lived an exciting and inspiring story. They have experienced things most Australians never will.

“As a professional team, they have furthered Australia’s reputation in the region and beyond. However, they don’t do it alone: our sailors at sea derive their strength from their loved ones at home, thank you to the families and friends for your enduring support of our people.

“While the return of these ships is an occasion to celebrate, I would also like to recognise and thank our people who will remain on watch, at sea and ashore, ready to respond during this festive period and beyond.”

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