HMAS Toowoomba in Middle East Area of Operations

HMAS Toowoomba in Middle East Area of Operations

The Royal Australian Navy’s ‘Purple Pony’, HMAS Toowoomba, is mid-way through her six-month deployment, patrolling the expanses of the Arabian Sea, Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman, and Indian Ocean.

The Frigate Helicopter (FFH) frigate is currently assigned to Operation SLIPPER in the Middle East and is predominantly assigned to the Australian-led Combined Task Force 150 (CTF 150) to maintain maritime security and conduct counter terrorism activities.

By patrolling known drug smuggling routes and conducting boarding operations the RAN and its coalition partners are raising the CTF 150 (counter-terrorism) profile, which will hamper the efforts of terrorist organisations and insurgent forces that are funded by the smuggling of narcotics.

In three months of operations, Toowoomba has conducted five Flag Verification boardings, three Approach Assist Visits and relentlessly gathered intelligence via her sophisticated surveillance and reconnaissance assets.

Australia’s ongoing contribution to the United States-led Combined Maritime Force (CMF) is an invaluable addition to the global war on terror.

HMAS Toowoomba’s focus is to enforce maritime security in the Middle East Area of Operations (MEAO) as part of the multi-national CMF.

HMAS Toowoomba’s Commanding Officer, Commander Brendon Zilko spoke of the respect the United States Navy has for the Royal Australian Navy and Toowoomba.

“Australia and the United States have always worked closely in this area of operations, with the Americans appreciating our contribution. They see the Royal Australian Navy as an extremely professional and capable outfit and admire our capability”, CMDR Zilko said.

Recent port visits to Muscat, Salalah, Abu Dhabi, Karachi and Dubai have also allowed international relationship building and supporting the International Defence Expo in Abu Dhabi and participation in Exercise AMAN 13 has been a cruise highlight.

Toowoomba’s Operations Officer LCDR Jason McBain said EX AMAN was a multinational exercise this year held in Pakistan involving Ships from the UAE, Bangladesh, Pakistan, China, Turkey and the UK.

“Exercise AMAN allows like minded nations to operate together to develop their interoperability and promote regional security and stability,” LCDR McBain said.

HMAS Toowoomba is the 30th rotation by a RAN ship to the MEAO since 2001.

During her six-month deployment HMAS Toowoomba, and other coalition vessels, provide deterrence to those involved in the smuggling of illegal drugs – the proceeds of which are used to fund terrorist activities.

By patrolling known drug smuggling routes and conducting boarding operations the RAN and its coalition partners are raising the CTF 150 (counter-terrorism) profile, which will hamper the efforts of terrorist organisations and insurgent forces that are funded by the smuggling of narcotics.

In three months of operations, Toowoomba has conducted five Flag Verification boardings, three Approach Assist Visits and relentlessly gathered intelligence via her sophisticated surveillance and reconnaissance assets.

Australia’s ongoing contribution to the United States-led Combined Maritime Force (CMF) is an invaluable addition to the global war on terror.

HMAS Toowoomba’s focus is to enforce maritime security in the Middle East Area of Operations (MEAO) as part of the multi-national CMF.

HMAS Toowoomba’s Commanding Officer, Commander Brendon Zilko spoke of the respect the United States Navy has for the Royal Australian Navy and Toowoomba.

“Australia and the United States have always worked closely in this area of operations, with the Americans appreciating our contribution. They see the Royal Australian Navy as an extremely professional and capable outfit and admire our capability”, CMDR Zilko said.

Recent port visits to Muscat, Salalah, Abu Dhabi, Karachi and Dubai have also allowed international relationship building and supporting the International Defence Expo in Abu Dhabi and participation in Exercise AMAN 13 has been a cruise highlight.

Toowoomba’s Operations Officer LCDR Jason McBain said EX AMAN was a multinational exercise this year held in Pakistan involving Ships from the UAE, Bangladesh, Pakistan, China, Turkey and the UK.

“Exercise AMAN allows like minded nations to operate together to develop their interoperability and promote regional security and stability,” LCDR McBain said.

HMAS Toowoomba is the 30th rotation by a RAN ship to the MEAO since 2001.

During her six-month deployment HMAS Toowoomba, and other coalition vessels, provide deterrence to those involved in the smuggling of illegal drugs – the proceeds of which are used to fund terrorist activities.

Naval Today Staff, April 17, 2013; Image: Australian Navy

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