Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Toowoomba has returned to Australia following a successful six-month deployment on Operation Manitou.
CAPTION: Friends and family of HMAS Toowoomba’s ship’s company line the wharf as the ship berth’s alongside Parkes Wharf, HMAS Stirling, Western Australia. Photo by Able Seaman Lincoln Commane.
Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds praised the ship’s company, who conducted maritime security operations in the Straits of Hormuz with the International Maritime Security Construct.
“HMAS Toowoomba can be proud of their achievements in reducing the risk of malign activity, and preventing the disruption of seaborne trade in the Middle East,” Minister Reynolds said.
“The crew has worked tirelessly and professionally to help legitimate mariners have unrestricted use of international waterways safely and with confidence,”
Minister Reynolds said the government remained committed to the multi-national effort to maintain security in the region, as the Middle East maritime domain remains strategically important to Australia’s economic and trade interests – but didn’t say when another ship would be deployed.
Operation Manitou is Defence’s enduring contribution to support international efforts that promote maritime security, stability and prosperity in the Middle East.
HMAS Toowoomba shared the tasking with the Combined Maritime Force, conducting counter-narcotics operations as part of Task Force 150 and maritime security operations in the Straits of Hormuz with the International Maritime Security Construct.
HMAS Toowoomba seized more than 3000 kilograms of drugs during the deployment.
Through CMF, Australia contributes to a multinational taskforce of 33 nations to maintain freedom of navigation, uphold international law, and promote regional stability and security of the maritime commons.
The International Maritime Security Construct is a more recent organisation, convened by the USA to counter Iranian aggression in the area – and is contributed to by USA, UK, Australia, Albania and a handful of Arab nations.
Commander Australian Fleet Rear Admiral Jonathan Mead paid tribute to the families of the ship’s company.
“As well as the hard work and dedication from the ship’s company, we recognise the important role their families and friends played during this deployment,” Rear Admiral Mead said.
“Their support and steadfastness is integral, and allows those in uniform to achieve the mission.”