HMAS Hobart sets sail as commissioned warship for first time

The first of Royal Australian Navy’s new Aegis-equipped destroyers HMAS Hobart got underway on October 18, setting sail for the first time as a commissioned warship.

Her departure from Fleet Base East, Garden Island, Sydney on Wednesday heralded the much anticipated return to sea for the Guided Missile Destroyer (DDG) of the Royal Australian Navy.

During her journey to and from Jervis Bay on the New South Wales south coast, HMAS Hobart’s ship’s company will perform a series of exercises to test core mariner skills.

Commanding officer, HMAS Hobart, Captain John Stavridis, said the ship’s company were eager to put their skills to the test.

“This is really the first key milestone in proving that we can operate the warship safely and effectively,” he said.

“My crew have worked very hard to get the ship commissioned and ready for sea.”

The week long mariner skills evaluation (MSE) period will see the ship’s company put through their paces in a series of essential navigation and seamanship exercises off the east coast of Australia to prove Hobart’s safe and effective operation at sea.

The MSE will feature boat drills, man-overboard, casualty and damage control exercises.

“The ship’s company will be tested in toxic hazards, fire-fighting, flood stop and repair, all the essential emergency responses to ensure a ship can operate safely at sea,” Captain Stavridis said.

“It’s a challenging time for the ship’s company but the sense of accomplishment will make it very worthwhile.”

“We’re all very proud to wear the name Hobart on our shoulders and carry the motto ‘Grow with Strength’,” he said.

“This is an opportunity to live up to that legacy.”

On return to Fleet Base East, Hobart will continue with a complex series of system trials and unit readiness tests and evaluations, working towards full operational capacity late next year.