HMAS Newcastle Heads for SLIPPER

HMAS Newcastle Heads for SLIPPER

Close to a thousand family and friends gathered at Garden Island, Sydney to farewell HMAS Newcastle as she sailed for duties as part of Operation SLIPPER.

Commander Australian Surface Forces, Commodore Jonathan Mead, AM RAN and the Ship’s Commissioning Lady Mrs Margaret McNaughton joined well wishes at the departure ceremony.

Newcastle’s Commanding Officer, Commander Paul O’Grady, CSM RAN said while the deployment will challenge his ship’s company, they are well prepared.

“My ship’s company have committed many hours to ensuring we are ready for this mission. We are at the top of our game and ready to do the important job for which we have trained,” said Commander O’Grady.

Newcastle will relieve HMAS Toowoomba in the Middle East Area of Operations and take on the important job of protecting sea lanes for trade, while maintaining safe access to vital international waterways by deterring terrorist activities and acts of piracy.

Newcastle’s departure marks the 55th rotation of a Royal Australian Navy ship to the Middle East Area of Operations since the Second Gulf War commenced in 1990.

Naval Today Staff, April 22, 2013; Image: Australian Navy