Chief of Navy - LHD Piracy story
6 November 2012
On Tuesday 6 November 2012, The Australian newspaper published an article (Warship’s 12,000 mile detour gives high-seas pirates a wide berth). The article claimed that the Australian Navy had declined to provide a security escort for the Heavy Lift ship Blue Marlin transporting the RAN’s new Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) ship through the Gulf of Aden. This is incorrect.
The RAN has had a ship deployed to the Middle East since 1990. More recently, our operational focus has included periodic contribution to the counter piracy mission in and around the Horn of Africa. As the article points out, HMAS Anzac is currently deployed to the region, the 53rd ship deployment to the region since 1990.
The decision not to go through the Suez Canal was a commercial one; Defence did make it clear however that the Middle East Frigate could be made available for escort of the Blue Marlin and the LHD if required.
Chief of Navy