Two Royal Australian Navy minehunters returned home to Sydney in time for Christmas after a successful overseas deployment that saw them travel a record distance.
CAPTION: Royal Australian Navy sailors on HMAS Diamantina toss lines on approach to the wharf at HMAS Waterhen, Sydney. Photo by Able Seaman Thomas Sawtell.
HMAS Ships Diamantina and Gascoyne travelled more than 13,000 nautical miles in the past four months as they deployed to east Asia for multinational and bilateral exercises in Japan and South Korea.
The minehunters were two of 11 vessels with more than 1000 Navy people deployed across Asia and the western Pacific since September.
Commanding Officer HMAS Diamantina Lieutenant Commander Darren McDevitt said Diamantina and Gascoyne were among the last ships to return home from the deployment.
“This has been a milestone year for my ship’s company,” Lieutenant Commander McDevitt said.
“We have sailed as far west as Sri Lanka and as far north as the 42nd parallel in Japan, both of which are record distances for any minehunter in the history of the Royal Australian Navy.
“We have also sailed more nautical miles this year than any other Australian minehunter has before.
“Achieving this is testament to the hard work of the dedicated crew who keep Diamantina going.
“To travel so far and prove our mine-warfare skills alongside our Japanese and South Korean partners makes us very proud,” Lieutenant Commander McDevitt said.
Destroyer HMAS Hobart, ANZAC-class frigates Stuart, Parramatta and Arunta, the replenishment ship HMAS Sirius, HMA Submarines Collins and Dechaineux, the hydrographic survey ship HMAS Leeuwin and the Armidale-class patrol boat HMAS Ararat were also deployed on Navy’s East Asia Deployment over the past three months.