HMAS Arunta and her ship’s company of 191 departed HMAS Stirling naval base at Rockingham, Western Australia for Operation MANITOU in the Middle East Region.
Family and friends gathered on the wharf along with Commander Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Stuart Mayer to farewell the crew who will deploy for around nine months.
Commander Cameron Steil, HMAS Arunta Commanding Officer, said the deployment will be long but important.
“We are the first ship deployed to Operation MANITOU for close to nine-months. We have trained hard and are well prepared for our mission,” Commander Steil said.
“It is very hard to say good bye to our loved ones, especially with Christmas around the corner, but we are equipped and focussed.
“To our family and friends, thanks for getting us to where we are today. We are only here because of your support. We will stay in touch and can’t wait to see you on completion of our mission,” he said.
Commander Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Stuart Mayer said Australian warships have made significant contributions to global security through service in the Middle East.
“Arunta is the 64th Royal Australian Navy fleet unit to deploy to the Middle East since 1990. In that time, many ships have made the trip in the nation’s interest,” Rear Admiral Mayer said.
“Navy personnel continue to make a difference, enhancing security, fostering trade and commerce in support of the Government’s aims.”
Operation MANITOU is Australia’s contribution to counter terrorism, counter piracy, narcotics interdiction and contributes significantly to stability to that region, the Persian Gulf, the Gulf of Aden, the Red Sea and parts of the Indian Ocean.