After 35 years of service to the Royal Australian Navy, HMAS Tobruk was formally decommissioned today in Sydney.
The Governor-General, His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove, together with the Assistant Minister for Defence Stuart Robert and Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Tim Barrett, attended the decommissioning to bid the ship a fond farewell.
In a time-honoured tradition, the Australian White Ensign was lowered for the last time and handed to Commanding Officer Commander Leif Maxfield.
“Today’s decommissioning is bittersweet and marks the end of almost 35 years of service for this vessel, which has provided significant humanitarian aid and disaster relief, as well as an amphibious heavy lift capability to the Australian Defence Force,” Mr Robert said.
“Tobruk provided sterling service and contributed to operations in Somalia, East Timor and the Solomon Islands, and conducted extensive work both in Australia and around the South West Pacific.
“She has been the workhorse of the fleet.
“Tobruk has proven herself to be versatile and resilient, supporting numerous humanitarian aid and disaster missions in the Pacific and Philippines and undertaking active service in Africa as part of Operation Solace, as well as operations in East Timor and the Middle East.
“Her hard work has paved the way for the future of the Navy by providing an understanding of how to carry out humanitarian aid and disaster relief missions.
“Today it is also important to acknowledge the hard work of the current and former crews who have called Tobruk home.
“Ultimately it is the dedicated men and women of the Navy who transform the platform into a capability, and to you I simply say thank you. I also thank all those individuals who have ever maintained Tobruk and all those who had a hand in building her.”
Tobruk was designed for combined Navy and Army amphibious operations. The ship was a multi-purpose troop and heavy vehicle carrier and included facilities for bow and stern loading, beaching, a drive-through capacity and inter-deck transfers via ramps.
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