After HMAS Ballarat arrived in the Gulf to begin operations in the Middle East Region, she sent back this report.
CAPTION: HMAS Ballarat’s Boarding Party conducts a flag verification boarding on a suspicious dhow as part of Operation Manitou. Photo by Leading Seaman Bradley Darvill.
The Australian Anzac-Class Frigate’s first patrol is part of a nine-month rotation that will see her cover about 3.2 million square miles of international waters on a mission to contribute to the maritime security and stability of the region.
HMAS Ballarat’s commander said the ship conducted a range of patrols in the central, southern, and then finally in the northern Gulf, focused on maritime security, understanding patterns of life, and reporting illicit activity.
“The team responded really well,” he said.
“We had more than 87 boardings and approaches conducted, and we gathered a lot of good information for Task Force 152.
“This is the backbone of what we do.
“Most of our operation, we’re supporting Combined Maritime Forces partner nations focused on maritime security at sea, in curbing illicit activity, and making sure that the seas are free for the trade that we all depend on.”
This is the 67th rotation of a Royal Australian Navy ship in the Middle East since the first Gulf War in 1990, maintaining a continuous presence in the region.
Operation Manitou is Australia’s contribution to the international security and stability effort in the Middle East region, which includes counter terrorism, counter piracy and narcotics interdiction.
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