HMAS Melbourne returns from Middle East
16 March 2014
HMAS Melbourne has returned to Garden Island, Sydney following a successful Middle East mission.
The crew of 232 had spent months at sea securing sea lanes and providing safe passage to legitimate mariners.
Commanding Officer HMAS Melbourne, Commander Brian Schlegel RAN said his crew lived by their ship’s motto 'Vires Acquirit Eundo' and gathered strength as they went.
“The crew deserve acknowledgement for their dedication during this deployment. The boarding party and embarked S70B-2 Seahawk helicopter crew were particularly busy and were outstanding in their performance,” Commander Schlegel said.
“We had some notable achievements while deployed including the seizure of over half a tonne of heroin worth over $1 billion, which dealt a severe blow to those groups that use the money to fund unlawful activities.
“The additional seizure of almost 24 kilograms of methamphetamines and two tonnes of suspected cannabis resin, as well as the interception of nine suspected pirates off the coast of Somalia, were also important to securing the maritime environment for legitimate trade.”
HMAS Melbourne conducted maritime security counter-piracy, counter-terrorism and counter-narcotic operations as part of the 30 nation Combined Maritime Force. Her deployment marked the 56th rotation of a Royal Australian Navy ship to the region since the First Gulf War.