Defence Connect has been welcomed aboard the Royal Australian Navy’s newest warship, HMAS Brisbane, as it arrived home to family and friends in Sydney after its first overseas deployment.
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The arrival of the Hobart Class destroyer sees the total return of 10 RAN warships from overseas deployments, ranging across south-east Asia, the Pacific and the US.
For the past few months, RAN vessels have conducted complex exercises with regional partners, with Brisbane completing combat system testing off the west coast of the US, a first for the RAN.
"It was a fantastic opportunity to work alongside US ships, integrate with their systems and demonstrate how its not about what we do with our ship, but how we can slot into a task group, to provide a synergy of those systems to have a much better effect," Commanding Officer, Commander Josh Wilson, told reporters on the bridge of the vessel.
“Brisbane’s deployment has both enhanced interoperability with the United States and demonstrated the capabilities of the Hobart Class,” CMDR Wilson added.
“Australia is now better equipped to integrate into joint exercises and operations as a result of this deployment.
“The deployment marked the culmination of 12 months’ hard work for the crew.
“It feels fantastic to have achieved our objective, and returned home to our friends and family in time for Christmas."
CMDR Wilson received promotion upon Brisbane's return home, with RAN Fleet Commander, Rear Admiral Jonathan Mead, noting that "promotion at sea is the highest honour one can receive" during a small ceremony on-board the destroyer.
CMDR Wilson received his promotion in front of his crew and family, and will soon handover command of the Hobart Class vessel in the new year.
HMAS Brisbane is the second of three 147-metre-long, Australian-built Hobart Class destroyers, and is designed to provide air defence against missiles and aircraft for groups of ships, land forces and coastal infrastructure.
The ship is equipped with a Mk41 Vertical Launch System with SM-2 Standard Missiles and Evolved Sea Sparrow missiles, a Mk 45 five-inch main gun, Phalanx Close-In Weapons System, two 25mm Typhoon guns, and MU90 and Mk54 light-weight torpedoes for subsurface defence.