After six months conducting maritime counter terrorism, counter piracy and maritime support operations in the Middle East, HMAS Success returned home to Garden Island, Sydney today.
The ship’s company were reunited with loved ones, who lined the wharf to welcome home the replenishment ship after a successful Operation MANITOU mission. While originally tasked with providing only logistics support, Success has given a practical demonstration of the utility of naval forces.
Parliamentary Secretary for Defence, Darren Chester MP joined the Commander Surface Force, Commodore Lee Goddard, CSC, RAN, on the wharf, recognising the contribution the 235 members of the ship’s company had made to global security.
“Assigned to execute maritime counter terrorism and counter piracy, you also provided––often simultaneously––logistic support to all coalition naval forces in the Middle East region,” Mr Chester said.
“By patrolling known smuggling routes, conducting boarding and presence operations, you have deterred and disrupted the efforts of terrorist organisations and insurgent forces that are funded by the smuggling of narcotics and other substances.”
Commanding Officer Success Captain Justin Jones said the ship provided a flexible capability to Combined Maritime Forces, based in Bahrain.
“Our embarked Seahawk helicopter conducted 103 surface searches covering more than 800,000 square nautical miles,” he said.
The ship conducted 37 boardings, almost half of the total number conducted by the greater Combined Task Force 150 during the period of her assignment.
“We conducted 28 replenishments-at-sea, day and night, to ships from 10 different nations, including an emergency dash to southern Somalia to replenish a small task force of US ships whose tanker had become unserviceable,” Captain Jones said.
The ship was the first Royal Australian Navy ship to be force assigned to a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation operation and the first Australian ship to integrate into a French carrier battle group.
“We have lived up to our nickname of the ‘Battle Tanker’ and I am very proud of how the men and women in the ship’s company have performed throughout this mission,” Captain Jones said.
Success is the second ship to fully deploy to the Middle East region under Operation MANITOU, but represents the 59th rotation of a Royal Australian Navy warship to deploy to the area since the first Gulf War in 1990. HMAS Newcastle is currently deployed to the operation.
Imagery will be available later today at the defence image gallery http://images.defence.gov.au/S20151551
Natalie Staples (Navy Public Affairs) 0410 347 749
Ben Wickham (Defence Corporate Communication) NSW 0400 003 792
Brie Colley (Darren Chester’s Office) (02) 6277 4029