HMAS Canberra, carrying almost 450 defence personnel, has returned to its homeport in Fleet Base East in Sydney, having completed a five-month deployment.
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HMAS Canberra has returned to its home port in Sydney’s Fleet Base East, following a five month deployment.
The Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD), which carried almost 450 defence members, originally left Sydney in July before taking part in Exercise Talisman Sabre 21, the US-led Large Scale Global Exercise 21 in the western Pacific, as well as exercise Bersama Gold off of the coast of Singapore marking the 50th anniversary of the Five Power Defence Arrangements.
Defence also confirmed that the LHD headed an Australian task group during Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2021, which included HMA Ships Anzac and Sirius throughout the nation’s flagship regional engagement activity.
“We engaged directly with eight regional nations, conducting virtual workshops on issues of importance and practicing interoperability between navies,” Commodore Mal Wise, Commander IPE21, said.
“IPE continues to be an important way for Australia and partner nations to reinforce that an open, inclusive and resilient Indo‑Pacific benefits all nations in the region.”
Throughout IPE21, HMAS Canberra worked with a number of regional partners including Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam – as well as the US, the UK and New Zealand.
Defence also confirmed that the Canberra was deployed throughout East Asia this year to mark Australia’s commitment to the region.
“Being at sea for such a long period of time can be very challenging. The crew has demonstrated resilience, professionalism and a great deal of commitment while deployed and I couldn’t be more proud of them,” Captain Jace Hutchison, Commanding Officer of the HMAS Canberra, said.
“Of course, standing behind the crew are countless family and friends without whom we could not do this job. I thank them for their support.”
Defence confirmed that while the LHD’s crew will be given some leave, they will remain at 48-hours notice to move as part of Defence’s high risk weather season.
The announcement came as HMAS Stalwart, Australia’s newest Supply Class auxiliary oiler replenishment (AOR) ship, officially entered service with the Royal Australian Navy after being commissioned during a ceremony at Fleet Base West, Rockingham, Western Australia.
The ceremony, held on Saturday (13 November), was attended by the Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price, Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Michael Noonan and HMAS Stalwart’s Commanding Officer, Commander Steven McCracken.
The newly commissioned vessel, built by Spain-based Navantia Ría de Ferrol, joins sister ship HMAS Supply, based at Fleet Base East in NSW.
HMAS Stalwart will now be homeported at the City of Greater Geraldton.
The Department of Defence received the vessel in September after signing the acceptance certificate.
This followed a two-month fit-out at Western Australia’s HMAS Stirling and final sea trials.
[Related: HMAS Stalwart officially enters service]