HMAS Anzac completes third tour of duty
26 January 2013
Senator Matt Thistlethwaite, representing the Minister for Defence Stephen Smith, along with the Commander Australian Fleet Rear Admiral Tim Barrett AM CSC RAN, welcomed home HMAS Anzac from a six-month deployment to the Middle East today.
Family and friends filled the wharf at Garden Island in Sydney, waving Australian flags as they cheered alongside the 191 members embarked on the frigate.
Senator Thistlethwaite congratulated Anzac on completing an incredibly successful deployment as part of Operation SLIPPER and the multinational Combined Maritime Forces.
“The men and women of Anzac have again proven their commitment and dedication to an important mission.
“While deployed, the team played a critical role interrupting support to terrorist and extremist organisations in the Middle East. Anzac also undertook crucial regional engagement and capacity building.”
Commanding Officer of Anzac, Commander John Stavridis, said the ship’s company garnered a very high level of respect among the other forces working as part of the Combined Maritime Forces.
“Everyone onboard Anzac has been a part of a tight-knit team during this deployment, working in arduous and tough conditions to secure the maritime environment for legitimate trade,” Commander Stavridis said.
“I am proud of the contribution made by every member of this mighty warship.”
“It’s hard to beat sailing through Sydney Heads and an Australia Day Regatta as we return home to our loved ones after a successful deployment. Their support was vital to getting us here today.”
Prior to their return to Australia, Commander of Joint Task Force 633, Major General Michael Crane, said Anzac should be proud of its mission.
“Anzac has had a highly successful tour and contributed to the full scope of Combined Maritime Forces operations including maritime security, counter piracy and regional engagement,” Major General Crane said.
“Anzac has made a significant contribution to the understanding of patterns of life in the region and built an excellent reputation as the go-to ship for sensitive tasking.”
The Australia Day return marked the conclusion of Anzac’s third deployment to the Middle East and was the 29th rotation of a Royal Australian Navy ship since September 2001. Anzac was relieved on station by HMAS Toowoomba earlier this month.
Imagery of the arrival will be available at the Defence Image Gallery from 3.30pm: http://images.defence.gov.au/
Raveena Carroll-Kenney, Defence Communications and Media – NSW, 0405 310 176
Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999