Two Royal Australian Navy vessels, HMA Ships Ballarat and Parramatta, and more than 350 personnel last week departed their respective homeports in Western Australia and New South Wales for a two-month deployment throughout south-east and north-east Asia.
CAPTION: Able Seaman Claire Brown is all smiles as HMAS Parramatta departs Fleet Base East on Sydney Harbour for a two-month deployment to south-east and north-east Asia. Photo by Leading Seaman Jarrod Mulvihill.
The vessels will operate as a combined task group and represent the ADF’s second Regional Presence Deployment of 2021.
Ballarat’s Commanding Officer and Commander of the Task Group Commander Antony Pisani said this latest deployment reflected Australia’s commitment to maintaining strong relationships in the region.
“Ballarat and Parramatta will build on the fantastic work of HMA Ships Anzac and Sirius, which recently participated in Exercise La Perouse in the Northeast Indian Ocean and conducted other navy-to-navy activities with a number regional partners,” Commander Pisani said.
“Australia has a long history of embracing navy-to-navy engagement to ensure we can work together to preserve safe and free sea-lanes.”
Commander of the Joint Task Force Rear Admiral Mark Hammond said Ballarat and Parramatta were well prepared for the deployment, with both completing similar missions last year.
“The crews will leverage the skills and lessons of previous deployments to the region to strengthen our naval capability and partner interoperability,” Rear Admiral Hammond said.
The ships will rendezvous in Australia’s northern waters prior to commencing planned engagements with partner nations later this month.
All ADF personnel will complete a mandatory 14-day quarantine period at sea before returning to Australia..