HMAS Toowoomba Returns from the Middle East Deployment
HMAS Toowoomba was welcomed home today from a six-month deployment to the Middle East Area of Operations (MEAO).
The homecoming ceremony was attended by Minister for Defence, the Honourable Stephen Smith MP, Shadow Minister for Defence and Senator for Western Australia, Senator the Honourable David Johnston, Senior Officer Commodore Peter Lockwood DSC, CSC, RAN, RTD, Commander Surface Force, Commodore Jonathan Mead AM RAN, and the family and friends of Toowoomba personnel.
Minister Smith greeted the crew at her homeport Fleet Base West (HMAS Stirling), Rockingham, Western Australia and availed of the opportunity to congratulate the ship’s company on a challenging but successful operation.
HMAS Toowoomba is an ANZAC Class Frigate with a crew of 191 men and women. As part of Operation SLIPPER, she provided essential naval support to International Maritime Security Operations in the Arabian Gulf.
While deployed, HMAS Toowoomba participated in counter-terrorism operations in the Gulf of Oman and North Arabian Sea, and counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden and in the waters off the Horn of Africa and the Somali Basin.
Toowoomba was replaced on station by HMAS Newcastle, which took over in late May. This marked the end of Toowoomba’s fourth rotation to the MEAO.
This was the fifty-fourth rotation of a RAN ship to the MEAO since the commencement of the first Gulf War in 1990.
The deployment made a significant contribution to maritime security and continued the longstanding tradition maintaining Australia’s high standing as a maritime security partner in the Middle East.
Press Release, June 14, 2013; Image: Australian Navy