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LEUT David Osborne and
LEUT Samantha Dudley
TEN days after quietly reaching
the Australian west coast, HMAS
Newcastle was welcomed home at
Garden Island in Sydney on October
13 by hundreds of family and friends.
It brought to an end a deployment
to the Middle East which began when
the 230 crew farewelled Sydney on
LSCSO Tim Parkinson echoed a
"It was a fantastic trip and a won-
derful opportunity, but nothing beats
the feeling of coming home," LS
Parkinson said, while hugging his wife
"Seeing all the people waving from
the wharf as we came alongside was
Among the well-wishers were
Prime Minister Tony Abbott,
COMAUSFLT RADM Tim Barrett,
COMSURFOR CDRE Jonathan Mead
and the ship's commissioning lady,
CO Newcastle CMDR Paul
O'Grady was met at the bottom of the
gangway by Mr Abbott, who congratu-
lated him on the ship's success.
"I am immensely proud of the
accomplishments of the men and
women of Newcastle, CMDR O'Grady
"Their tenacious effort and team-
work was pivotal in achieving our mis-
sion to promote maritime security and
suppress acts of piracy and terrorism."
The return marks the completion of
Newcastle's fourth deployment to the
MEAO and the RAN's 55th rotation of
a major fleet unit since 1990.
As part of its deployment,
Newcastle provided maritime security
around the Horn of Africa, conducted
counter-piracy and anti-smuggling
operations in the Gulf of Aden and
executed counter-terrorism activities.
LEUT Samantha Dudley and
LEUT Alec Fieldsend
CROSSING the equator for the first
time and enjoying a laugh with the rest
of the ship's company during HMAS
Newcastle's talent quest on her 4600
nautical mile voyage back to Australia
are memories that will stay with two
Royal Navy of Oman (RNO) sub lieu-
tenants for a long time.
SBLTs Zaid Nasser Rashid Al
Kharusi and Abdul Rahim Mohammed
Khamis Al Rasbi joined the ship as she
left the Gulf of Oman and integrated into
the Newcastle bridge team with ease.
While on board they participated in
a replenishment at sea (liquids) with
USNS Arctic, main machinery damage
control exercises, flying operations, gun-
nery serials and a visit to Diego Garcia
and its PX store.
"Many people in the Oman Navy
never get the chance to cross the equa-
tor," SBLT Al Rasbi said.
The Omani officers disembarked at
Fleet Base West, where they toured mul-
tiple facilities including the Submarine
Escape and Rescue Centre as well as the
Anzac Class Frigate HMAS Toowoomba.
SBLT Al Kharusi said they were
grateful to have been given the opportu-
nity to sail with the RAN.
"We have learnt a lot during our
exchange and it has been nice to create
lasting friendships and build a network
with Australian Navy members," he said.
Oman, oh man, what a thrill
She has now been replaced by
CMDR O'Grady said three mem-
bers of the ship's company became
fathers while deployed.
"LCDR Chris Fingleton and his
wife Gemma welcomed their little
boy Alexander Leo, LS Mathew Little
and his wife Sharon celebrated the
birth of their daughter Elodie Anne
and AB Owen Huth and his partner
Katharine welcomed little Arya Marie
to the world," he said.
"Many of the crew celebrated
birthdays, including milestone 21st,
30th and 50ths. However, many also
missed wedding anniversaries, family
birthdays and, sadly, the passing of
some loved ones back home. It is
always hard to be away from our
families, but we are proud to have
done our duty."
Newcastle's earlier homecoming
happened when it sailed into Fleet
Base West at sunrise on October 3 --
at a time when much of the Navy was
on the other side of the country for the
International Fleet Review.
But there was much less of the
spotlight in Western Australia as the
efficient Newcastle company got
down to work.
Within 30 hours, they cleared
customs and quarantine, deammuni-
tioned, refuelled and got back to sea.
for ship after
GLAD TO SEE YOU: From left,
Carol McKenzie, Ashley McKenzie,
LS Kate McKenzie and David
McKenzie welcome LS McKenzie
home. Sydney photos: ABIS Cassie McBride
HAPPY RETURNS: HMAS Newcastle berths at Fleet Base West (above) and (inset), the RAN Band -- Sydney
plays at Fleet Base East.
Main photo: CPOIS David Connolly
DAD'S HOME: Jodie Turpin, Linda Cott, Brencis
Cott, CPO Andrew Cott and Will Turpin (above)
reunite in Sydney (above) as do AB Tristan Wright
and his wife Marcela with the knowledge they are
expecting their first child (below).
THUMBS UP: Omani SBLTs Al
Kharusi, left, and Al Rasbi on board
Newcastle after their first visit to
Diego Garcia. Photo: LCDR Ludovic Miller
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