HMA Ships Brisbane and Warramunga returned to their respective home ports in Sydney and Rockingham, WA, today after a three-month deployment.
CAPTION: Seaman Cloe Reichelt is welcomed by her mother at Fleet Base East, Sydney, after HMAS Brisbane returned to her home port at the end of a three-month deployment. Story by Lieutenant Nancy Cotton. Photo by Able Seaman Susan Mossop.
The crews were greeted by family and friends in the east and the west.
The ships took part in navy-to-navy engagements.during the regional presence deployment (RPD) to South-East and north-east Asia.
The RPD is the ADF’s robust and longstanding program of international engagement in the Indo-Pacific region.
Commanding Officer HMAS Brisbane Commander Aaron Cox said working with partner nations and having the opportunity to strengthen Australia’s regional ties made the deployment a success.
“The crew have worked tirelessly throughout this period. I’m proud of all that they have achieved, and we’re all looking forward to spending time with our loved ones back home,” Commander Cox said.
Successfully navigating the challenges of COVID-19 with primarily contactless port visits, the ship’s company sought innovation on board with sport and other activities to ensure morale and spirits remained high.
Leading Seaman Guy Marsen said not being able to step ashore at the ports the ship visited was different.
“Instead, the crew on board Warramunga had to get creative to entertain one another – whole-ship events and deck games were popular and a lot of fun,” Leading Seaman Marsen said.
Lieutenant Sam Jackson said morale remained really high throughout the deployment.
“Contactless deployments present challenges, but the camaraderie and enthusiasm the crew displayed overcame these easily,” Lieutenant Jackson said. The returning ship’s companies will now take the opportunity to relax with family and friends.