The Royal Australian Navy has decommissioned the Adelaide-class frigate HMAS Darwin on Saturday 9 December at her homeport of Garden Island, Sydney, after more than 30 years of service to the nation.
CAPTION: Able Seaman Samuel Millar and Able Seaman Alice Saunders lower HMAS Darwin’s Australian White Ensign for the last time. Photo by Leading Seaman Kayla Hayes.
In a ceremony full of tradition, Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Tim Barrett paid tribute to the service of the ship’s company past and present.
“Darwin has laid down a proud history over her 33 years,” Vice Admiral Barrett said.
“The ship and her successive companies have served Australia with distinction, being awarded battle honours three times for successful maritime security operations.
“It is through the hard work and dedication of the crews who have called Darwin home that made this frigate so effective over such a long career.”
Since commissioning in 1984, Darwin has steamed more than a million nautical miles, visited more than 50 countries, and undertaken operations in the Middle East, East Timor and the Solomon Islands.
The Commanding Officer of HMAS Darwin Commander Phillip Henry said lowering the Australian White Ensign for the final time closed a significant chapter in Navy’s history.
“The 5000 men and women who have served in Darwin will always carry fond memories of this ship,” Commander Henry said.
“She is a good ship and we take great pride in our considerable achievements.
“We share this pride with many of Darwin’s past crew members who joined us to pay a final tribute to this Navy workhorse.”
Darwin is being decommissioned to make way for the Hobart-class guided missile destroyers, which will provide Australia with an improved warfighting capability.