HMAS Sydney’s service to the nation began with a commissioning at sea on May 18, 2020 – the first time since World War II that a Navy warship had been welcomed to the fleet while underway.

The ship’s company this week marked the first anniversary of her commissioning with a barbecue and cake while the ship was at anchor near San Francisco’s iconic Golden Gate Bridge.

The anniversary was a proud milestone for Sydney’s commissioning commanding officer, Commander Edward Seymour.

“It is an honour to share this special event with the commissioning ship’s company of HMAS Sydney,” Commander Seymour said.

“I am very proud of their work and dedication, and thank them for their tireless efforts, from taking delivery of the ship, through to commissioning and our current deployment to prove her lethality.

“There are hundreds of family members who enabled us to get to this point and I thank them equally for their ongoing support.”

Sydney is the last of three Hobart-class guided missile destroyers (DDG) built by the Air Warfare Alliance in Adelaide, South Australia.

After her commissioning, she partnered with sister ship HMAS Brisbane to conduct weapons systems training off Sydney Heads, a short distance from her home port of Fleet Base East.

She sailed in company with HMA Ships Adelaide, Anzac, Gascoyne, Huon and Yarra in the East Australian Exercise Area a few weeks later, proving her ability as the newest ship in the fleet.

HMAS Sydney conducts officer of the watch manoeuvres off the South Coast of New South Wales. Photo: Peter Beeh

Sydney currently is in the US conducting combat system sea qualification trials in the Southern Californian Exercise Area, putting her advanced Aegis Combat System to the test.

During these tests, Sydney launched for the first time an Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile and SM-2 standard missile – a significant warfighting capability milestone for Navy.

Commander Seymour said the combat system sea qualification in the US had reaffirmed the ship’s motto ‘Thorough and ready’.

“The Aegis Combat System is an impressive and powerful air defence capable of engaging enemy aircraft and missiles at ranges greater than 150km,” Commander Seymour said.

“What we have seen over the past few months is a warship that is thorough in terms of accuracy and ready to respond to potential threats within a very short timeframe.”

After finalising her weapons system tests, Sydney will return to Australia in July.

HMAS Sydney in Sydney Harbour. Photo: Leading Seaman Nadav Harel