Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, yesterday met with Royal Australian Navy personnel aboard HMAS Arunta in the Persian Gulf.
HMAS Arunta is on a nine month deployment to Operation MANITOU, Australia’s contribution to maritime security operations in the region, including counter terrorism, counter piracy and narcotics interdiction.
“It’s not easy being so far from home for extended periods and I recognise the sacrifices Australian Defence Force personnel and their families are making on our behalf,” Minister Payne said.
During her visit, Minister Payne accompanied the ship on its overnight transit through the Strait of Hormuz.
“Royal Australian Navy personnel continue to make a difference, enhancing security, fostering trade and commerce, and contributing significantly to the stability of the region,” Minister Payne said.
Minister Payne also met with U.S. Vice Admiral Kevin Donegan, Commander of the Combined Maritime Forces, to discuss Australia’s ongoing commitment to the Middle East region’s maritime security.
During her visit to the region Minister Payne also met with members of Australia's Air Task Group.
"The men and women of our Air Task Group make an important contribution to the international coalition's campaign to defeat Daesh in Iraq and Syria," Minister Payne said.