The personnel of the Royal Australian Navy at Fleet Base West (FBW) resupplied and helped HMAS Toowoomba, which is tasked to search for Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370, to return to sea in under six hours.
Toowoomba was tasked to Operation SOUTHERN INDIAN OCEAN (Op SIO) from operations in northern Australia, resulting in a rapid three day transit down the west coast to FBW.
On Saturday 29 March, the ship disembarked her Transit Security Element (TSE), offloaded stores and equipment and then on-loaded helicopter stores and clearance diving equipment.
Even before the ship was completely alongside, Port Services personnel were moving into position with cranes, empty trucks and pallets.
Joint Logistics Unit-West (JLU-W) coordinated additional stores for on-loading to HMAS Toowoomba to pass to HMAS Success which was already in the search area.
Fleet Support Unit-West (FSU-W) joined the effort to ready Toowoomba for search operations by conducting system repairs and planned maintenance.
Commander Matthew Doornbos, Commanding Officer of Toowoomba, remarked that quick turnaround of equipment and stores was made possible by the team ashore.
“It was impressive to see so many concurrent activities conducted with a common purpose in such a short time,” Commander Doornbos said.
“Without this support, some of Toowoomba’s team would not have been able to spend a few moments on the wharf with their friends and family before proceeding on this internationally important operation and for that, I thank them.”
HMAS Toowoomba has now joined HMAS Success in the search area located almost 1,700km north-west of Perth.
Press Release, April 4, 2014; Image: Australian Navy