Home' Navy News : September 2nd 2010 Contents 16
By Michael Brooke
HMAS Melbourne (CMDR Michael
Harris) achieved a small but impor-
tant milestone when she sailed from
Fleet Base East (FBE) for Operation
Slipper on August 16.
Her deployment to the Middle East
Area of Operations marks the first oper-
ational deployment by an Adelaide-class
frigate (FFG) since the billion-dollar
FFG upgrade project was implemented.
Melbourne's deployment to the Gulf
of Aden, where she will soon begin anti-
piracy patrols, also marks her first oper-
ational deployment since 2004, when
she deployed on Operation Catalyst.
Speaking to Navy News, CMDR
Harris said the deployment was a sig-
nificant moment for the ship.
"It is a great honour to be undertak-
ing this important job on behalf of the
Australian people," CMDR Harris said.
"To deploy the first upgraded FFG
in support of operations makes the
deployment all the more professionally
rewarding for us."
The upgraded FFG, which has the
motto 'She gathers strength as she
goes', was farewelled from FBE by the
Chief of Navy, VADM Russ Crane, and
COMAUSFLT, RADM Steve Gilmore,
as well as more than 500 family and
VADM Crane said Melbourne was
the first of the upgraded Adelaide-class
FFGUP to sail for the Middle East.
"The enhancements make her a
formidable force, with new missile and
torpedo systems among the improved
capability," VADM Crane said.
"The men and women embarked in
Melbourne will make a vital contribu-
tion to the Australian Government's
commitment to ensuring maritime secu-
rity, supporting anti-terrorism and coun-
tering piracy in the Gulf of Aden.
"The thoughts and best wishes of the
nation are with Melbourne as she sails
to undertake this important task."
CMDR Harris told Navy News the
ship's company responded brilliantly
to the recent challenges because of the
strong support of family and friends.
"Their support as we worked tire-
lessly to prepare has resulted in us being
extremely well placed to succeed in our
mission," he said.
More than 500 family and friends
were present to farewell Melbourne
when she sailed. The farewell was
especially tearful because the sailors
and their loved ones will miss celebrat-
ing Christmas and New Year together,
but are scheduled to be reunited around
Among the sailors bidding their
loved ones goodbye was ABCK Justin
(Left) LS Jonathon Ward
holds his one-year-old daugh-
ter Isabelle before boarding
(Below) PONPC BJ
Goldsack, CPONPC L.
Coleman, LSNPC R.
Woodward and LSNPC S.
BYE DADDY: (Bottom) AB
Justin Macey says goodbye
to his three-week-old son,
Zain, and wife Electra.
Photos: ABIS Hayley Clarke
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