Today I was joined by Commander Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Stuart Mayer, CSC, and Bar, RAN, to farewell the 230 officers and sailors of HMAS Melbourne as she departed for the Middle East region.
Melbourne will deploy for seven months to conduct counter terrorism, counter piracy and narcotics interdiction operations as part of multi-national Combined Maritime Forces as part of Operation MANITOU, the Australian Defence Force’s contribution to the region.
The Government is committed to maintaining a presence in the Middle East region as global maritime security continues to be vitally important, and helps to maintain the international systems on which our Australian way of life depends.
The Royal Australian Navy is having considerable success disrupting the trade of narcotics and making trade routes safer for legitimate mariners and I thank every member of Melbourne’s ship’s company for the contribution they are about to make to global security and our way of life.
The crew have been working hard to ensure they are prepared for the challenges ahead and follow in the wake of the Royal Australian Navy’s consistent presence in the Middle East region for a quarter of a century.
Melbourne will build on the success of recent Navy rotations, disrupting the supply of narcotics. When traded, these drugs provide funds to terrorist organisations.
The deployment will be the 61st rotation of a Royal Australian Navy ship to the region since 1990. She will relieve HMAS Newcastle on station.
Imagery of today’s departure will be available at http://images.defence.gov.au/S20152132
Information about HMAS Melbourne is available at http://www.navy.gov.au/hmas-Melbourne
Brad Rowswell (Minister Andrews’ Office) 0417 917 796
Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999