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November 24, 2011
Toowoomba home to FBW
By SBLT Sarah West
HMAS Toowoomba has been wel-
comed home to Fleet Base West after a
successful six-month deployment to the
Middle East Area of Operations, where
her crew conducted maritime opera-
tions as part of Operation Slipper and
the Combined Maritime Force.
The Anzac-class frigate was offi-
cially greeted on the wharf by Chief of
Navy VADM Ray Griggs, Commander
Australian Fleet RADM Steve Gilmore
and Government representatives.
In his address to friends and family of
Toowoomba's crew ahead of the ship's
arrival, RADM Gilmore praised the con-
tribution of the west-based ship and its
"In the six months since we fare-
welled her, Toowoomba and her crew
have made a significant and lasting con-
tribution to maritime security and coun-
ter piracy operations," he said.
"Their efforts to restore order and to
protect peaceful users of the sea, whether
threatened by others or by the dangers
of the sea itself, have been absolutely
"Your sacrifices are not forgotten. No
ship at sea is self-sufficient. Our men and
women cannot deploy without the sup-
port of their families and friends. Your
part in our Navy family is absolutely
During the deployment,
Toowoomba's crew completed seven flag
verification boardings, 20 approach assist
visits, and one medical evacuation from
a coalition ship, as well as providing
medical assistance to merchant vessels
on four occasions. She also escorted four
merchant vessels which were vulnerable
to pirate attack.
Commanding Officer CMDR Andrew
Quinn said his crew exemplified Navy
values during the deployment.
"I am incredibly proud of the profes-
sionalism and commitment shown by
every member of this crew," he said.
"It is men and women such as these,
and the way in which they carry out their
duties, that allows us to stand up and be
proud of the Navy for which we serve."
During her six months in the MEAO,
Toowoomba travelled more than 65,000
nautical miles and her helicopter spent
more than 118 hours in the air.
During Toowoomba's return ceremo-
ny, RADM Gilmore also paid tribute to
crew members AB Steven Bebbington
and AB Ewan McDonald, whose lives
sadly came to an end in April and
"These tragedies have had a signifi-
cant impact on so many in the Navy,
and Toowoomba, and I ask that we keep
the families of Steven and Ewan in our
minds and prayers as we welcome home
their shipmates," RADM Gilmore said.
HMAS Parramatta has now taken
over Operation Slipper duties in the
WELCOME HOME: HMAS Toowoomba comes alongside Fleet Base West and, inset, families wait on the
wharf for their loved ones with a special banner paying tribute to AB Steven Bebbington and AB Ewan
McDonald, the two sailors who passed away while the ship was deployed.
Photos: LSIS Phillip Cullinan and ABIS Morgana Ramsey
Warramunga mourns sailor
A MEMORIAL service has been held
for HMAS Warramunga crew mem-
ber, LSBM Bradley Livingston, who
passed away while ashore on leave in
Cambodia on November 10.
During the service aboard the ship
on November 13, LSBM Livingston was
described as a larger than life character, a
loving father and a friend to many.
Warramunga's WEEO, LCDR David
Bettell, said the sailor, who leaves behind
two much-loved children, would be
remembered around the fleet as a hard-
working and fun-loving member of the
"Rest in peace Doc, and may fair
winds and following seas find you,"
LCDR Bettell said.
During several moving speeches
from his fellow gunnery rates, LSBM
Livingston was described as a highly
competent sailor and "one of the best
bosuns a ship could hope to have".
"Never backward in coming forward,
he was an excellent teacher and mentor
who always gave his heart and soul into
ensuring that everyone's potential was
reached," one member of the ship's com-
LSBM Livingston was repatriated to
Australia on November 15 aboard an Air
Force C-17 Globemaster, which flew into
RAAF Base Pearce from Phnom Penh.
His casket was carried from the plane
by sailors from Stirling, led by CHAP
The deceased sailor was met on the
tarmac by a small group of family mem-
bers, friends and military personnel.
Chaplains, the Defence Community
Organisation and the Stirling
Bereavement Support Team have been
providing support to LSBM Livingston's
family and friends.
The cause of the sailor's death is
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