HMAS Parramatta Sets Sail for Six Month Deployment to Middle East Area


191 personnel from HMAS Parramatta farewelled family and friends as they set sail for a six month deployment to the Middle East Area of Operations today.

The ship’s company will spend Christmas patrolling more than 2.5 million square miles of international waters as part of Combined Maritime Forces.

Parramatta will provide essential naval support to maritime security operations, working with coalition forces to develop security, promote stability and global prosperity in the maritime environment and complement counter-terrorism and security efforts as part of Operation SLIPPER.

Commanding Officer of HMAS Parramatta Commander Guy Blackburn, RAN reassured family and friends that the crew was well prepared for the task ahead

“While we are sad to farewell you, there is also excitement at what lies ahead. My crew wears their uniform with pride and is looking forward to serving the interests of both the national and international community. I am confident in our ability to meet the challenges that lie ahead,” said Commander Blackburn.

The Minister for Defence, Mr Stephen Smith MP and the Commander Australian Surface Forces, Commodore Stephen McDowall, DSM, CSM, RAN joined the Member for Parramatta, Dr Geoffrey Lee MP and the Shadow Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon David Johnston at the ceremony.

“The 191 personnel onboard will be contributing to a global mission, which I can assure you is helping disrupt the cross-border transport of criminals, narcotics and weapons, and ensuring the continued safety of all mariners at sea,” said Commodore McDowall.

This deployment marks Parramatta‘s fourth deployment to the Middle East Area of Operations and is the 27th rotation of a Royal Australian Navy fleet unit since September 2001. Parramatta will relieve HMAS Toowoomba on station.

Source: navy, September 27, 2011