HMAS Toowoomba Returns Home From Six Month Deployment

HMAS Toowoomba Returns Home From Six Month Deployment

HMAS Toowoomba has been welcomed home from a six month deployment to the Middle East Area of Operations today.

The Honorable Mr Gary Gray AO MP, the Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Ray Griggs AM CSC RAN and Commander Australian Fleet Rear Admiral Steve Gilmore AM CSC RAN greeted the crew at her homeport of Fleet Base West, Rockingham, Western Australia.

The Anzac Class frigate, carrying 190 men and women was cheered alongside, as she returned from a successful deployment as part of Operation SLIPPER.

Rear Admiral Gilmore congratulated the Ship’s Company on a challenging but successful operation.

“Toowoomba served fearlessly during this deployment, which marked the 26th rotation of an Australian warship to the Middle East Area of Operations since 2001, said Rear Admiral Gilmore.

“The crew made a significant contribution to maritime security and rose to the challenge of maintaining Australia’s high standing as a coalition partner in the Middle East.”

Commanding Officer of Toowoomba, Commander Andrew Quinn RAN said his Ship’s Company had worked tirelessly and were looking forward to getting home.

“I am deeply proud of the dedication and commitment that each member of the crew has shown. It is always hard to be away from loved ones, and their support from afar has directly contributed to the success of our mission,” he said.

Toowoomba was replaced on station by HMAS Parramatta, which took over in mid October. This marked the end of Toowoomba’s third rotation.

Toowoomba provided maritime security around the Horn of Africa and Arabian Sea, in support of counter-piracy and anti-smuggling operations. She also supported counter-terrorism activities, patrolling an area of more than 65,000 kilometres.

Despite a successful mission, Toowoomba sadly farewelled one of their own, with the unexpected loss of Able Seaman Ewan Macdonald during a visit to India. Able Seaman McDonald received his own homecoming, with his body returned to his family on Saturday 29 October. An investigation into the cause of his death is ongoing.

Source: navy, November 08, 2011