On September 29 [reported by Defence on 2 November], the personnel of Armidale-class patrol boat HMAS Maitland celebrated the ship’s 15th birthday while alongside HMAS Coonawarra.
CAPTION: Commanding Officer HMAS Maitland Lieutenant Commander Julia Griffin and Able Seaman Samuel Allen prepare to cut a cake celebrating the Armidale-class patrol boat’s 15th birthday. Story by Lieutenant Liam Feenan.
Maitland commissioned on September 29, 2006, and is the first Navy vessel to bear the name Maitland after the City of Maitland, NSW, and the World War II naval training establishment in Newcastle, NSW.
This was HMAS Maitland’s final birthday in service as the ship is scheduled to be decommissioned in April next year.
Commanding Officer Maitland Lieutenant Commander Julia Griffin said the birthday was a fitting time to remind the crew of Maitland’s storied history.
“It was an excellent opportunity to take some time out of our busy schedule and celebrate Maitland’s 15 years of service to the RAN, proudly serving Australia,” Lieutenant Commander Griffin said.
Since commissioning, Maitland has steamed about 430,000 nautical miles and been deployed on several operations, including Operations Augury, Resolute, Rai Balang, Sandalwood and Solania.
FILE PHOTO (2017): HMAS Maitland departs Darwin Harbour. Photo by Leading Seaman James Whittle.
Maitland has participated in bilateral and multilateral exercises such as Milan, Lumbas, Paradise and Cassowary, as well as visited many ports across northern Australia, the south-west Pacific and South-East Asia, including Bali, Davao, Dili, Honiara, Jakarta, Madang, Moresby and Sembawang.
Over the past year, Maitland has been deployed to Timor-Leste and the Solomon Islands, and conducted multiple patrols in support of Operation Resolute in Australia’s northern waters, from the Cocos Keeling Islands and Christmas Island to Cape York and the Great Barrier Reef.
Maitland’s ship’s crest features an Australian native crane carrying a harp and traditional Indigenous tools.
The ship’s motto is ‘Invincible’.
With a crew of 24 officers and sailors, Maitland’s primary operational role is to protect Australia from civil maritime security threats, including illegal exploitation of natural resources, illegal maritime arrivals, prohibited imports and exports, maritime terrorism, piracy, robbery and violence at sea, compromises to biosecurity and maritime pollution.