HMAS Newcastle to assume Middle East patrols
21 April 2013
The Royal Australian Navy’s Commander of Surface Forces, Commodore Jonathan Mead, joined family and friends at Garden Island in Sydneytoday, to farewell HMAS Newcastle as she sailed for her fourth tour of duty to the Middle East Area of Operations.
The Adelaide Class frigate’s departure marks the beginning of a six-month deployment, during which Newcastle will undertake maritime interception and security operations as part of the multinational Combined Maritime Forces.
Commodore Mead thanked Commanding Officer of Newcastle, Commander Paul O’Grady, and his crew for their dedication in preparing for the mission.
“You have committed many hours to ensuring Newcastle is ready to undertake this deployment,” Commodore Mead said.
“You are at the top of your game and I have no doubt that you will make Australia and your families proud.
“Newcastle has an important job to do. Your role is to protect sea lanes for trade while maintaining safe access to vital international waterways by deterring terrorist activities and acts of piracy. You are prepared for this mission,” Commodore Mead said.
Commander O’Grady thanked the gathered families for their support.
“We have spent many hours away from our loved ones preparing for this deployment,” Commander O’Grady said.
“These hours were made bearable knowing we had your ongoing support on the home front. On behalf of the Ship’s Company I’d like to thank you for being our rock.
“Your support is the foundation on which the success of this mission is built,” Commander O’Grady said.
Natalie Staples Navy Public Affairs 0419 840 646
Ben Wickham Defence Communication and Media – NSW 0405 310 176