Australia: JTF 633 Spends Three Days with HMAS Toowoomba Stuff


A recent visit to HMAS Toowoomba by Australian Army and Air Force members of Joint Task Force (JTF) 633, has allowed them to gain a ‘first hand’ appreciation of the diverse range of capabilities the frigate will bring to Operation SLIPPER.

Led by Joint Task Force 633 Chief of Staff, Colonel Andrew Maclean, the group spent three days with ships’ company of HMAS Toowoomba – Commanding Officer Commander Andrew Quinn – as the ship travelled from Bahrain through the Persian Gulf and into the Arabian Sea.

Although I was aware of what Toowoomba was capable of, there is no substitute for being on board and seeing the ship in action,” said COL Maclean.

According to CMDR Quinn, Toowoomba is one of the RAN’s most versatile ships as it is capable of air defence, surface and undersea warfare, surveillance, reconnaissance and interdiction. It is also able to counter simultaneous threats from aircraft, surface vessels and submarines.

During their three days onboard COL Maclean, MAJ Lara Bullpitt -Troy the Officer Commanding Joint Movement Coordination Centre, and FLTLT Tina Brown from Air Movements experienced many aspects of the ship’s operations. This included witnessing counter-terrorism boarding party training, weapons maintenance and testing, and force protection measures.

What particularly impressed me was the integrated, whole of ship approach to operations which means everyone has multiple tasks,” COL Maclean said.

For example one of the stewards’, whose primary responsibility is hospitality services on board, also drives a RHIB as part of the ship’s boarding party, has an active role in Damage Control and is also a member of the Ship’s Medical Emergency Team.”

HMAS Toowoomba recently joined the international Combined Maritime Force (CMF) in the Middle East, which includes ships from Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Pakistan, Canada, Denmark, Turkey, the US and UK.

The CMF is working to defeat terrorism, prevent piracy, reduce illegal trafficking of people and drugs, and promote the maritime environment as a safe place for mariners with legitimate business.

The 191 men and women of HMAS Toowoomba mark the 26th rotation by a Royal Australian Navy ship to the Middle East area since 2001 and will remain deployed in the region until November.
Source: navy, June  28, 2011;