Royal Australian Navy has welcomed back two ships and more than 300 personnel to their home port of Fleet Base West, Rockingham, following a significant period of international engagements.
CAPTION: Blake, Shay and family friend Petty Officer Physical Training Instructor Tamara Prins wait for Petty Officer Combat Systems Supervisor Joseph Muckenthaler to arrive home as HMAS Anzac returns from deployment to Fleet Base West in Western Australia. Photo by Seaman Richard Edwards.
Today, auxiliary oiler HMAS Stalwart returned to homeport after more than three months away, while frigate HMAS Anzac arrived on Tuesday.
HMAS Stalwart conducted engagements with Japan, the United States, Timor-Leste, the Philippines and Singapore as part of a Regional Presence Deployment and Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2022 (IPE22).
HMA Ships Stalwart and Anzac were two of five ships as part of the IPE22 contingent that visited 14 countries – Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Maldives, the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor-Leste, and Vietnam.
HMAS Anzac Commanding Officer Commander David McPherson said his crew enjoyed exercising and spending time with Australia’s regional partners.
“It’s difficult to beat the connections that are made through face-to-face engagement,” Commander McPherson said.
The ships’ companies were looking forward to spending valuable time with their families over the Christmas period.
HMAS Stalwart Commanding Officer Commander Steve McCracken said his crew were grateful to be on home soil.
“This has been HMAS Stalwart’s first overseas deployment, and was packed with memorable experiences, such as replenishing the US forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan after taking part in Exercise Keen Sword with the US and Japan” Commander McCracken said.
“Coming home to our loved ones is always special.
“Without support from home, our personnel would not be able to do these deployments.”
The WA homecoming was part of a wider return of RAN ships to their homeports over the course of December.
HMA Ships Arunta, Adelaide, Hobart and Brisbane will return to Fleet Base East later this month.
These deployments followed a period of high activity, including the RAN-hosted multinational maritime Exercise Kakadu off the coast of Darwin, NT, and Exercise Rim of the Pacific 22 based out of Hawaii, USA.