Minehunters HMA Ships Diamantina and Gascoyne departed Sydney Harbour on September 9 for a three-month deployment to north-east Asia.

It is the second time Royal Australian Navy mine counter-measure vessels have deployed to the east Asia region and is the first time a Commander Task Group and staff will deploy with the units.

The opportunity to build upon the relationships established with regional navies by the minehunters in 2018 is an important component of the deployment.

The Commanding Officer of HMAS Diamantina, Lieutenant Commander Darren McDevitt, said the officers and sailors on board the two vessels were prepared for the months ahead.

“The ship’s companies of Diamantina and Gascoyne are really excited about this trip and we are looking forward to the international engagement and exercises ahead of us,” Lieutenant Commander McDevitt said.

For a number of personnel on both ships, this will be their first time deploying to northern waters.

The youngest crew member in Diamantina, 19-year-old Able Seaman Marine Technician Sikharin Siyangkabuth, said she had enjoyed preparing for the three-month deployment.

“This will be my first trip so far north of Australia," Able Seaman Siyangkabuth said.

“It will be great to visit Japan and work with the other navies.”

To enhance international engagement activities and promote greater levels of military cooperation in the region, both ships will participate in the Republic of Korea Multinational Mine Warfare Exercise and the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force mine counter-measures exercise, Exercise Hyuga Nada.