The Royal Australian Navy decommissioned Armidale-class patrol boat HMAS Pirie last week, after 15 years of service.
CAPTION: Royal Australian Navy patrol boat HMAS Pirie sails into Darwin Harbour, Northern Territory, for the last time before she decommissions. Photo by Leading Seaman Shane Cameron.
HMAS Pirie Commanding Officer Lieutenant Commander Sean Dalton said it had been a privilege bringing Pirie and her crew home for the last time.
“Pirie has sailed more than 426,000 nautical miles in her lifetime, travelling from as far east as Samoa, west to the Cocos Keeling Islands, south to the Bass Strait, and as far north as Qingdao, China,” Lieutenant Commander Dalton said.
Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Michael Noonan addressed the ceremony at HMAS Coonawarra Darwin and recognised the valuable contribution made by the men and women who have served in Pirie.
“HMAS Pirie and her Ship’s Company have lived up to the ship’s motto “mark of quality.” They have served the people of Australia, protecting our nation’s borders and offshore maritime interests with dedication and professionalism,” Vice Admiral Noonan said.
“Today, we reflect on their contribution and look to our future.
“Pirie is the first of two Armidale-class patrol boats to be decommissioned this year as we transition to our 12 Arafura-class offshore patrol vessels.
“While there is a nostalgia in farewelling one of our workhorses, it is an exciting time to serve, as Navy undergoes the most significant recapitalisation of the fleet.
“The new Arafura-class offshore patrol vessels will provide a significant increase in capability and enhance our capacity to patrol our maritime territory and near region.”
Throughout her commission, Pirie conducted intercept and control of both foreign fishing vessels and suspected irregular entry vessels, along with regularly providing support to the civil community. She has also taken part in diplomatic, ceremonial and commemorative events with Australia’s regional partners.