HMAS Melbourne home for the last time

HMAS Melbourne (III) arrived in her homeport of Sydney on 27 September 2019, marking the end of her final voyage.

The 138-metre-long warship berthed alongside Fleet Base East at Garden Island with her decommissioning pennant and battle ensign flying one last time.

Commander Australian Fleet Rear Admiral Jonathan Mead said Melbourne had given 27 years of distinguished service to Australia’s maritime operations.

“HMAS Melbourne deployed on operations across the globe including to the Middle East eight times, earning battle honours for her service in East Timor and the Persian Gulf,” Rear Admiral Mead said.

“The Adelaide Class guided missile frigates have formed the backbone of our Navy operations for decades and Melbourne has played a vital role, sailing more than 900,000 nautical miles since her commissioning in 1992.”

The final Commanding Officer of HMAS Melbourne Commander Marcus Buttler said Melbourne recently completed a four month deployment through north Asia, including conducting international maritime surveillance operations to enforce United Nations Security Council Resolution sanctions against North Korea.

“HMAS Melbourne has been deployed overseas for most of 2018 and 2019, showing what her Ship’s company of hardworking Navy personnel can do, and although today is bittersweet I am also very proud,” Commander Buttler said.

“Thousands of people have called this ship home over the past 27 years with many fond memories of their time aboard and I have no doubt many of them will be sad to see her seagoing service come to a close today.

“Our ship’s motto is ‘she gathers strength as she goes’, and she has continued to gather strength during the 900,000 miles steamed and 70,000 hours underway.

“HMAS Melbourne has kept up a high tempo right to the end which is a testament to the love this crew has for her.”

Melbourne is the last of six Adelaide-class guided missile frigates left in the Royal Australian Navy and will decommission on 26 October.

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Brian Hartigan

Managing Editor Contact Publishing Pty Ltd PO Box 3091 Minnamurra NSW 2533 AUSTRALIA

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