defence connect logo



HMAS Anzac officially farewelled in decommissioning ceremony

HMAS Anzac in Sydney Harbour as she makes her way to home port, Fleet Base East. Photo: ABIS Tom Gibson

The Royal Australian Navy’s longest-serving commissioned vessel, HMAS Anzac (III), has officially been farewelled during a decommissioning ceremony over the weekend.

The Royal Australian Navy’s longest-serving commissioned vessel, HMAS Anzac (III), has officially been farewelled during a decommissioning ceremony over the weekend.

HMAS Anzac was the lead ship of the Anzac Class frigates in use with the Royal Australian Navy, since its launch in September 1994 and commissioning in May 1996.

Representatives attended a decommissioning ceremony at the ship’s home port of HMAS Stirling in Perth on 18 May. HMAS Anzac is the third Royal Australian Navy ship to carry the name of the Australian legend.


“HMAS Anzac’s motto is ‘united we stand’ and I am very proud to say that the personnel and veterans who have served on board have stood united to protect Australia’s maritime interests within the region,” Chief of Navy Australia Vice Admiral Mark Hammond AO said.

“An Australian warship is a strategic capability, but it is also a home, a sanctuary for those in peril on the sea and a floating embassy representing Australia abroad.

“Thousands of men and women have called this ship home since it was commissioned in 1996, and for some, HMAS Anzac represents key milestones in their lives and I thank each and every one of them, and their families for their support.”

Anzac was previously granted freedom of entry to the City of Albany, Western Australia, the departure port for the original Anzac contingent, and has forged a close association with the City of Rockingham over many years.

The ship also participated in many deployments and operations during its service, most famously when she was deployed to the Gulf region in October 2002 and was part of what is now known as “Five Inch Friday”, the first time that the Royal Australian Navy had engaged in combat naval gunfire support since the Vietnam War.

Decommissioning HMAS Anzac will pave the way for the long-term investment in enlarging and enhancing Navy’s fleet, in response to the recommendations made by the Independent Analysis of Navy’s Surface Combatant Fleet, according to the Department of Defence.

Earlier this year, the Surface Fleet Review confirmed the Royal Australian Navy’s future surface combatant fleet will be expanded to total 26 major surface combatants consisting of:

  • Three Hobart Class air warfare destroyers with upgraded air defence and strike capabilities.
  • Six Hunter Class frigates to boost Navy’s undersea warfare and strike capabilities.
  • Eleven new general purpose frigates that will provide maritime and land strike, air defence, and escort capabilities.
  • Six new large optionally crewed surface vessels that will significantly increase Navy’s long-range strike capacity.
  • Six remaining Anzac Class frigates with the two oldest ships to be decommissioned as per their planned service life.

Defence Minister Richard Marles said at the time that “the enhanced lethality surface combatant fleet will ensure the Navy is optimised for operations in our current and future environment, underpinned by the meticulous assessment conducted by the independent analysis team”.

You need to be a member to post comments. Become a member for free today!