Commander praises fine ambassadors

As HMAS Arunta returned home to Fleet Base East this month after a three-month regional presence deployment, her commander praised his crew for the way they represented their service and country.

CAPTION: Sub Lieutenant Paige Vernon-Smith and Lieutenant Nicholas Coxsedge stand at ease on board HMAS Arunta as the ship returns home to Fleet Base East in Sydney after a regional presence deployment. Story by Lieutenant Commander Victor Yee. Photo by Leading Seaman Susan Mossop.

The deployment included port visits to Sattahip in Thailand, Busan in South Korea, Sasebo and Yokosuka in Japan, and the US territory of Guam.

Arunta took part in the Japanese Navy’s International Fleet Review, involving 12 navies and 38 fleet units in the sea phase.

She also participated in Exercise Malabar and deployed on Operation Argos, the ADF’s contribution to the international effort to enforce United Nations Security Council sanctions on North Korea.

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CAPTION: HMAS Arunta’s ships company stand at ease as the ship sails into its home port of Fleet Base East, Sydney. Photo by Leading Seaman Susan Mossop.

Arunta’s Commanding Officer, Commander Jason McBain, said the ship’s company had been “excellent ambassadors for our Navy, our ADF and Australia” throughout the deployment.

The ship also conducted navy-to-navy engagements as part of Indo-Pacific Endeavour in Thailand and the fleet review in Japan. These engagements allowed members of the ship’s company to tour ships from regional partner navies.

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CAPTION: A sailor from HMAS Arunta hugs his daughter on arriving home in Sydney after three months away. Photo by Leading Seaman Susan Mossop.

Arunta conducted a cross-deck exercise with INS Kamorta, of the Indian Navy, in which Australian officers experienced life in the Indian ship. The Australian hosted an Indian officer in return.

It was the first deployment and international exercise for about 30 of Arunta’s company.

Communications and information systems specialist Seaman Ashleigh Becker said she particularly enjoyed Exercise Malabar with the Japanese, Indian and US navies.

“Being my first deployment, I think it’s really interesting, as a tactical operator, to see how multiple nations can come together with a mutual understanding of the task at hand,” Seaman Becker said.

“It’s amazing to see the capability of our allied nations.”

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CAPTION: Leading Seaman Montana Lawlor, left, and Leading Seaman Alexandra Mullen wave to family and friends as HMAS Arunta returns home to Sydney. Photo by Leading Seaman Susan Mossop.

Throughout the deployment, Arunta covered 20,199 nautical miles, conducted seven port visits, notched up 177 flight hours with Flight 7’s MH-60R helicopter Athena, completed two replenishments at sea and took part in four official functions.

In catering for the ship’s company, 47,520 eggs were eaten, 48,597 meals were made, 4152 biscuits were baked and 3380 cans of soft drink were consumed.






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