HMAS Toowoomba was welcomed back to its home port of Fleet Base West on 14 June, following a period of operations and international engagements.
CAPTION: HMAS Toowoomba returns to Fleet Base West after a three-month deployment. Story by Lieutenant Mick Wheeler. Photo by Chief Petty Officer Yuri Ramsey.
During the deployment, Toowoomba performed border protection duties as part of Operation Resolute, participated in Exercise Komodo and represented the Royal Australian Navy at the International Maritime Defence Exhibition (IMDEX) in Singapore.
The recently upgraded Anzac-class frigate’s service on Resolute was part of the ADF’s contribution to protecting Australia’s borders and offshore maritime interests under Maritime Border Command.
In addition to conducting surveillance and response for Resolute, Toowoomba paid a visit to Darwin to participate in Anzac Day commemorations and a city march.
During Exercise Komodo, a multinational exercise led by the Indonesian Navy, Toowoomba worked alongside 40 naval vessels from more than 30 countries.
Conducted in waters off Makassar, Indonesia, the biennial exercise focused on maritime search-and-rescue, maritime interdiction operations and manoeuvring drills.
In Singapore, Toowoomba played host to international guests at IMDEX, which included warship tours and serving unique Australian culinary delights.
Commanding Officer Toowoomba Commander Darin MacDonald said the deployment highlighted the true ability of the crew to deal with different situations.
“Sailors and officers serving on Toowoomba can feel justifiably proud of their contribution in protecting Australia’s national interests,” Commander MacDonald said.
“This deployment was crucial in deepening international cooperation and enhancing relationships between Australia and our regional partners.”
For electronics technician Seaman Jack Simpson, on his first deployment, the experience was invaluable.
“I recently completed several of my technical-equipment courses and it was great to be able to put the knowledge and skills into practice,” Seaman Simpson said.
“I was also able to visit several places I haven’t been before, including Indonesia and Singapore.
“It was a fantastic experience.”
Commander Surface Forces Commodore Terence Morrison thanked family and friends for their support, and said Toowoomba’s effort over the three-month deployment was immense.
“Toowoomba’s deployment has been an exemplar to the flexibility that the ADF provides the government in responding to domestic and international priorities across the Indo-Pacific region,” Commodore Morrison said.
“Their adept ability to respond to changing circumstances demonstrates a highly effective and collaborative ship’s company, strongly supported by their family and friends.
“We are highly appreciative of Toowoomba for their deployment and their family and friends for their support.”