HMAS Toowoomba departs for duty
2 August 2014
Commander Surface Forces Commodore Jonathan Mead AM, RAN joined family and friends gathered at HMAS Stirling in Western Australia to farewell Commanding Officer Commander Catherine Hayes and the ship’s company of HMAS Toowoomba on their departure to the Middle East Region.
HMAS Toowoomba is deploying as part of Operation MANITOU to provide maritime support to international efforts to counter and deter terrorism and the trade of narcotics on the seas.
HMAS Toowoomba’s deployment contributes to promoting maritime security within the region.
Commander Catherine Hayes, who will be the first female to lead an Australian ship to the region, said the past months of intensive training had prepared the sailors and officers for the task.
“The crew has really demonstrated their professional competence during an intensive mission readiness evaluation period. The team is focused and looking forward to the mission ahead,” Commander Hayes said.
Toowoomba has had a busy start to the year which included support to Operations RESOLUTE and SOUTHERN INDIAN OCEAN, in addition to training for their current mission.
“We have spent 15 weeks at sea this year and we will spend the next five months away in support of Operation MANITOU, Commander Hayes said.”
“The love and support from our family, friends and colleagues at home makes our time away that little bit easier - it is fantastic to see such support for our team and the upcoming mission.
“This is Toowoomba’s fifth deployment to the Middle East and for many of the younger members of the ship’s company, it will be their first major operational deployment, but for some this will be their second and third trip to the region.”
During the deployment Toowoomba will be tasked with supporting maritime security including counter-piracy and counter-narcotics operations.
Toowoomba last deployed to the Middle East in 2013 and will be relieving HMAS Darwin.
Imagery will be available at http://images.defence.gov.au/S20142265
Mr Gary Booth, Defence Public Affairs WA – 0418 223 807
LEUT Kara Wansbury, Navy Public Affairs – 0408 403 645