It was a bittersweet moment for onlookers at Fleet Base West on December 2 when HMAS Sirius returned home.
CAPTION: Friends and family greet HMAS Sirius as the ship returns to its home port at Fleet Base West for the final time. Story by Lieutenant Jessica Craig. Photo by Leading Seaman Ernesto Sanchez.
Sirius was sailing into its home port for the final time before being decommissioned on December 18.
Sirius departed Fleet Base West on August 30 and, after 94 days away, was greeted with significant fanfare.
Two days earlier, the ship had picked up families from Albany and had taken the opportunity to show them what life at sea in the oiler was truly like.
Families who didn’t join the jolly lined up along the wharf to wave the ship in – carting ice-creams, coffees and banners created for the celebration.
Commanding Officer HMAS Sirius Commander Christopher Doherty said the return home was important for families and the crew.
“We don’t go to sea effectively without the support of our families back home,” Commander Doherty said.
“To have our families on board and on the wharf as Sirius sailed in for the final time was a way to celebrate the combined efforts of our personnel and their loved ones throughout the ship’s 15 years of service.”
Since commissioning on September 16, 2006, Sirius has worked up a vast catalogue of operational experience.
The ship’s last deployment included being part of Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2021, Regional Presence Deployment 21-4 and Exercise Malabar 2021.
Sirius concluded the sea time with a decommissioning tour of Australia, visiting Darwin, Norfolk Island, Sydney, Hobart and Albany.
“During its time, HMAS Sirius has served Australia and our allies proudly in all different parts of the world, in all different kinds of conditions,” Commander Doherty said.
“All of the crew are proud to contribute to Navy’s efforts on board such an important capability, which allows our fleet and those of our friends to remain operational at sea.
“It has been a real honour to command the ship through its last deployment and bring it home safely a final time.”
HMAS Sirius’ decommissioning will mark the official handover of logistics capability to the new Supply-class ships, HMA Ships Supply and Stalwart.