Australian frigate HMAS Newcastle returns from six-month Middle East mission

Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Newcastle returned to her home port on December 3 after concluding a six-month deployment to the Middle East.

The crew of the Adelaide-class guided missile frigate were welcomed to the Fleet Base East, Garden Island, Sydney, by their families and Australian defense minister Marise Payne.

“Newcastle has maintained Australia’s high standing in the Combined Maritime Forces, proving our ongoing commitment to the security of the Middle East region,” minister Payne said. “The Royal Australian Navy has again proven a potent and capable asset in the fight against terrorist operations and the illegal activities that fund them.”

The 230-man-strong crew carried out counter-terrorism and counter-piracy patrols as part of the Combined Maritime Forces and a two-week attachment with the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet in the Arabian Gulf.

The arrival home of the Newcastle signified the last deployment of an Adelaide-class frigate to the region, with future rotations to be fulfilled by upgraded Anzac-class helicopter frigates.

Commanding officer HMAS Newcastle, Commander Mark Sirois, said he was proud of the ship’s achievements.

“The men and women in Newcastle have shown determination and diligence in each and every task, through a variety of maritime security activities, they have demonstrated enthusiasm and professionalism and upheld the finest traditions of the Royal Australian Navy,” he said.