The families of hundreds of ADF personnel lined the wharf at Fleet Base East on Father’s Day to welcome home their loved ones from a three-month deployment.

HMA Ships Canberra and Supply both returned to their home port from busy regional presence deployments that included participation in the world’s largest maritime exercise, Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2022 in Hawaii.

Defence family members are a critical part of the Defence community as they support serving members.

Supply Assistant Maritime Logistics Officer Sub Lieutenant Hailey Ross-Smith said it was “nice to be home”.

“I’ve been missing my family a lot and I’m glad to see them,” Sub Lieutenant Ross-Smith said.

“It feels pretty special to arrive home and get to have Father’s Day at home.

“Big thanks to my family. They came up from Melbourne so put a lot of effort in to see us arrive.”

Canberra ship's company stand on the upper decks as the ship sails into Fleet Base East. Photo: Petty Officer Christopher Szumlanski

RIMPAC was Supply's first experience conducting replenishments at sea with other navies in an international exercise.

Throughout the deployment, the ship transferred millions of litres of fuel and conducted replenishments with Australian and foreign ships.

Canberra reached a key milestone during the RIMPAC portion of the deployment, with US Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey aircraft embarking in and operating from the platform.

The MV-22s will now be able to operate from any Australian landing helicopter dock.

Canberra also supported Operation Render Safe, providing a Role 2 hospital and aeromedical capability as required.

Regional presence deployments play a vital role in Australia’s long-term security and prosperity by protecting Australia’s interests, preserving a rules-based order, enhancing cooperation and relationships with regional partners and allies, and developing capability and interoperability.

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Canberra returning to her home port of Fleet Base East in Sydney. Photo: Petty Officer Christopher Szumlanski