Six Australian warships departed Sydney Harbour in formation yesterday to complete a range of training, sea qualification and surveying tasks. 

The ships were led by one of the fleet’s largest warships, HMAS Adelaide, followed by its newest ship, the destroyer HMAS Sydney. 

The formation was completed by three Huon-class ships, Huon, Gascoyne and Yarra and the Anzac-class frigate Anzac

Commander Surface Force Commodore Stephen Hughes said Navy continued to maintain a high tempo of operations throughout 2020. 

“Six ships leaving Sydney Harbour in formation is a visual demonstration of our capability but also signals our readiness and capability to continue to meet all government-directed operations,” Commodore Hughes said. 

Five of the six ships are home-ported in Sydney, while Anzac’s home port is in Western Australia. 

Adelaide, Sydney and Anzac will be involved in various exercises and drills, including sea qualifications and work-ups to prepare for future deployments, while the three Huon-class ships will be collectively involved in survey work between Newcastle and Port Kembla. 

Commanding Officer Adelaide Captain Jonathan Ley said the ship would conduct vital testing and preparations ahead of assuming duties as the high-readiness humanitarian and disaster response (HADR) vessel at the end of the month. 

Adelaide is sailing after a particularly busy and successful maintenance period with an immediate aim of setting to work, testing and proving all of her equipment, machinery and systems,” Captain Ley said. 

“The ship will then assume duties as the HADR vessel, to be used in the event of any contingency over the high-risk weather season in Australia and overseas.”