Australia: Anzac Class Frigate to Assume Middle East Patrols
Parliamentary Secretary for Defence, Dr Mike Kelly AM MP, and the Commander Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Timothy Barrett AM CSC RAN joined family and friends on the wharf at Garden Island, Sydney, to farewell HMAS Anzac as she sailed for her third tour of duty.
The surface frigate’s departure marks the beginning of a six-month deployment to the Middle East Area of Operations. During the deployment Anzac will undertake maritime interception and security operations as part of Operation SLIPPER.
Dr Kelly thanked the Commanding Officer, Commander John Stavridis, RAN and his crew for the hard work and dedication in training for the mission.
“Preparing for an operational deployment is never easy. You have already made sacrifices, spending time away for loved ones while you undertook extensive training. The nation and I thank you for your diligence in preparing for this important deployment.”
“It is in the national interest that the sea lanes are kept open for trade and safe passage. Your mission as part of the Combined Maritime Force will be to provide maritime security in the Gulf region. This will include counter piracy and anti-terrorism operations in the Gulf of Aden and working to prevent the illegal trafficking of people and drugs.”
Commander Stavridis thanked family and friends for the support.
“Anzac’s crew has worked tirelessly over the past five months to ensure that we are prepared for this important deployment. We have already spent many long hours apart from our loved ones. On behalf of my Ship’s Company I would like to thank you for your support during our preparation and I ask for your continued patience during our deployment,” said Commander Stavridis.
This deployment marks Anzac’s third deployment to Operation SLIPPER and is the 29th rotation of a Royal Australian Navy ship since September 2001. Anzac will relieve HMAS Melbourne.
Naval Today Staff, July 16, 2012; Image: US Navy