The crew of Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Ballarat has been welcomed back to Garden Island, Western Australia after four months deployed.
HMAS Ballarat assisted with the search for the Indonesian submarine KRI Nanggala 402, conducted Operation ARGOS, and participated in a range of bilateral and multilateral exercises, including Exercise Talisman Sabre 21 and Large Scale Global Exercise 21.
Assistant Minister for Defence, Andrew Hastie commended the crew of 188 on their success and resilience after spending a prolonged period at sea.
“HMAS Ballarat’s crew has contributed to Australia’s wide ranging and robust presence in the Indo Pacific, as we promote security and stability in the region,” Minister Hastie said.
“Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Australia remains strongly connected to our partners and neighbours. Ballarat’s deployment highlights our continuing commitment to a secure, open and prosperous region.”
Commanding Officer, HMAS Ballarat, Commander Antony Pisani, said the crew have been fostering ‘Navy to Navy’ relations during their deployment.
“We are proud to build on important Navy relationships across the region,” Commander Pisani said.
“We refined our interoperability with the United States Navy by conducting cross-deck helicopter operations, joint live-fire gunnery exercises and replenishment at sea.”
“We also assisted in the search for KRI Nanggala 402 off the coast of Bali.”
In Northeast Asia, Ballarat participated in Operation ARGOS – Australia’s contribution to the enforcement of United Nations Security Council sanctions on North Korea – by monitoring and deterring the illegal ship-to-ship transfer of sanctioned goods. All personnel have completed a 14-day quarantine period at sea and have completed all required pre-arrival COVID-19 measures prior to arriving in Western Australia.
Ballarat’s crew will now enjoy some much-deserved respite before the ship deploys again later this year.