Families warmly welcomed home the crew off HMAS Ballarat after nearly nine months at sea.

The Anzac-class frigate had patrolled the waters of the Middle East Region as part of Operation Manitou.

During its deployment, it seized more than a billion dollars' worth of illegal narcotics, nearly half a million rounds of small-arms ammunition and 697 bags of chemical fertiliser, which had a potential use in the manufacture of improvised explosives.

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