Home' Navy News : February 3rd 2011 Contents NAVY NEWS
February 3, 2011
By Michael Brooke
HMAS Stuart (CMDR Brett Sonter)
has begun patrolling international
shipping lanes in the MEAO where
she is working as part of a Coalition
task force to combat piracy and
maintain maritime security.
Stuart sailed for the MEAO on
December 30 and on January 19
relieved HMAS Melbourne (CMDR
Michael Harris) as the RAN contribu-
tion to maritime security in the region.
This is the fourth time the Tartan
Terror has deployed to the Gulf and
is the Navy's 25th rotation since
September 2001. Stuart's most recent
deployment was from November 2009
to April 2010, which speaks volumes
of her tireless commitment to duty.
Equally committed to duty is
Stuart's 'new' ship's company, which
conducted a sea swap with HMAS
Ballarat in the middle of 2010.
Stuart and her ship's company of
about 190 men and women were fare-
welled from Fleet Base East (FBE)
in late December by Chief of Navy
VADM Russ Crane and COMAUSFLT
RADM Steve Gilmore, as well as
some 300 family and friends.
VADM Crane said the work the
men and women embarked in Stuart
did was vital in strengthening mari-
time security in the Gulf of Aden and
the environment around the Horn of
CMDR Sonter said his young crew
were ready for the biggest challenge in
their Navy careers thus far.
"My ship's company are looking
forward to this deployment following
a demanding yet very rewarding inten-
sive training period," he said.
"The support from family and
friends, combined with the training
we have been given, ensures we are
extremely well placed to succeed in
CMDR Sonter said 70 per cent of
his crew were on their first operational
deployment to the MEAO, but had
been well prepared by Sea Training
Group and had the experience of the
veteran crew members to call upon.
"The crew is ready for any chal-
lenge, having participated in a
mission-readiness assessment in
November, which followed months of
concentrated work-up training aimed
at preparing the ship for operational
deployment," CMDR Sonter said.
Tartan Terror joins Slipper ops
BON VOYAGE: HMAS Stuart sails out of Sydney Harbour while, inset,
Stuart's XO LCDR Josh Wilson spends some precious moments with his
wife, Sarah, who is due to give birth this month.
Photos: ABIS Evan Murphy
While Stuart's ship's company
enjoyed Christmas with their loved
ones before they sailed, they were
absent for New Year celebrations with
family and friends. A number of crew
have already missed other significant
milestones such as births and wedding
XO LCDR Josh Wilson will
become a father for the first time this
month when his wife, Sarah, gives
LCDR Wilson said he wouldn't
meet his son until Stuart returned from
Operation Slipper in the middle of the
year, but he expected to receive images
via email soon after the birth.
Links Archive December 9th 2010 February 17th 2011 Navigation Previous Page Next Page