HMAS Parramatta Visits Mumbai, India


HMAS Parramatta (Commander Guy Blackburn) recently visited Mumbai, India following a successful operational deployment to the Middle East Area of Operations (MEAO). Mumbai was Parramatta’s final port prior to her return to Fleet Base East on 31 March, following a six month deployment.

The port visit enabled engagement with their Indian Navy counterparts – a successful PASSEX was conducted at sea, helping to improve understanding and cohesion between the two navies. A number of sporting and social functions were also conducted.

The crew of Parramatta were well hosted during their four day port visit which included the culturally and religiously significant festival of colour, or “Holi”. Chief Petty Officer Luke D’Elton, who turned green for the occasion, outlined the significance of Holi.

“It is a day of festivity and fun where everybody covers themselves in colour to celebrate a happy day. It’s a great day and a great privilege to see this culturally significant event. To honour this, and being a proud (ET) sailor, I ended up joining in and got covered head to toe in green,” CPO D’Elton said.

Some of the attractions the crew were drawn to included visits to the historic Gateway of India, the world heritage listed Chhatrapati Shivaji (Victoria) Central Railway, the Taj Palace Hotel, and the Buddhist Kanheri caves showcasing over 2000 years history. Added to this was funded cultural tours around the city and to the outlying areas that assisted with gaining a greater appreciation of Indian culture.

HMAS Parramatta departed for the Middle East on 26 September 2011 for a six-month deployment, as part of Operation SLIPPER. Operation SLIPPER is the Australian military contribution to the international campaign against terrorism, and also supports maritime security in the Middle East Area of Operations and the international effort to counter piracy in the Gulf of Aden.

During the deployment, Parramatta has contributed to security in the maritime environment, promoting regional stability and global prosperity. These operations complement the counter-terrorism and security efforts of regional nations and seek to disrupt violent extremists’ use of the maritime environment as a venue for attack or to transport personnel, weapons or other material.

Naval Today Staff , March 16, 2012;