The Royal Australian Navy ship HMAS Toowoomba departed Fleet Base West near Perth on 29 March, to join the international search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.
The Anzac-class frigate has been diverted from other operational tasks to join the search. It will carry a S-70B2 Seahawk helicopter which was flown from the RAN’s Naval Air Station HMAS Albatross by a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) C-17A Globemaster on Friday night.
HMAS Toowoomba’s acting commanding officer Matt Doornbos says the crew is eager to join the operation.
“We know this will be a tough and potentially challenging deployment but Toowoomba is capable and well suited to this mission and our Seahawk helicopter will help us to maximise our reach.” said Commander Doornbos.
HMAS Toowoomba joins the Royal Australian Navy supply ship HMAS Success which remains on station in the search area, after leaving Western Australia on 22 March. The Australian Defence Vessel Ocean Shield is scheduled to depart from Fleet Base West on Sunday.
The search for MH370 is being coordinated by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority with Defence providing assets and personnel, including Liaison Officers to all nations assisting in the search as required.
“This is a truly international search. We are working as one to find anything which will bring some peace to those who have lost family and friends in this tragedy,” said Commodore Leavy.
Naval Today Staff, March 31, 2014; Image: Australian Navy