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HMAS Darwin returned to Fleet Base
East after a challenging five-month
deployment that included exercises
RIMPAC, Kakadu and Singaroo.
More than 200 family and friends,
including Fleet Commander Australia
RADM Tim Barrett and Commander
Surface Force CDRE Jonathan Mead,
greeted Darwin and her ship's com-
pany when they berthed at Fleet Base
East on October 29.
CO Darwin CMDR Brian Schlegel
said RIMPAC and the other exercises
gave his crew invaluable experience.
"We have been involved in about
every aspect of naval operations and
the crew has done exceptionally
well," he said.
"Darwin reached many milestones
including conducting her first suc-
cessful firings of the Evolved Sea
Sparrow Missile (ESSM) and torpe-
does during RIMPAC," he said.
Working within the USS Nimitz
Strike Group enabled Darwin to vali-
date important lessons learnt from Ex
Talisman Sabre when she operated
with the George Washington Strike
"This was a steep learning curve
for us as we performed our role with-
in the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group
which enabled us to hone our air war-
fare competencies," CMDR Schlegel
RIMPAC also provided an oppor-
tunity for cross-decking to Nimitz and
US Navy Aegis-equipped destroyers
which provided a glimpse of the capa-
bilities coming online with the AWDs.
The upgraded ship with the motto
'resurgent' also participated in exer-
cises Kakadu and Singaroo, as well as
While transiting to Pearl Harbor,
Darwin visited Apia in Samoa, and
Tonga where the crew conducted
some important community engage-
Members of the crew said they
greatly enjoyed the deployment but it
was hard work.
ABCK Corey North said he was
one of the cooks who slaved over a
hot stove for five months to serve up
an estimated 99,200 meals.
"It was a fantastic deployment
because of what we achieved in terms
of promoting the RAN abroad, but the
highlight for me was visiting Pearl
Harbor," he said.
LSCSO Amy Fisher said she
enjoyed the deployment. The high-
light was RIMPAC because of the
weapon firings and the opportunity
to meet sailors from so many other
"We made a lot of new friends
from foreign warships which hope-
fully we will see next year at the
International Fleet Review," she said.
IN THE Navy you know you've done something good
when you get granted early leave.
HMAS Darwin's AB Zoey Tibos beat her ship
home to Sydney by four days when her CO CMDR
Brian Schlegel gave her liberty to participate in her
own fundraiser for her charity initiative.
The early mark enabled AB Tibos to attend a
motorcycle ride in Sydney on October 27 that raised
$2000 for 'Op Dear Troops' to buy care packages for
ADF personnel serving on operations.
"I surprised everyone when I showed up at the fun-
draiser," she said.
"The care packages augment what the RSL send
over and the contents, such as facial wipes, food,
are greatly appreci-
ated by the recipi-
ents," she said.
Op Dear Troops
sends packages to
10 ADF personnel
"I wrote to a
soldier who told me
how welcome some
little luxuries would be, which led to me initiating Op
Dear Troops," she said.
Her father, Dave Tibos, presented his daughter with
a cheque when Darwin returned to Fleet Base East on
"As the vice president of the NSW Western
Brothers Motorcycle Club, which comprises ex-
military members and members with family in the
military, it wasn't hard to organise such a worthwhile
fundraiser," Mr Tibos said.
He said more than 500 people, including Army
Chaplain Ralph Easterby, participated in the ride along
the Putty Road in Sydney's west on October 27.
November 8, 2012
HMAS Darwin returns to Sydney
after milestone deployment
SAFE RETURN: HMAS Darwin sails into Garden Island, Sydney, after completing a five-month deployment
(above) as ABET Darren Clinton is welcomed home by his girlfriend Zoe (inset) and LSCK Adam Carey is
reunited with his wife, Myriam, and in-laws Kevin and Karen (inset).
Photos: ABIS Sarah Williams, ABIS Chantell Bianchi and ABIS Nicolas Gonzalez
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