The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) Anzac Class Frigate HMAS Ballarat proudly celebrated her tenth birthday recently, on a characteristically windy day at Fleet Base West.
It was a busy time for the ship’s crew as they were preparing Ballarat to enter the Anti Ship Missile Defence (ASMD) upgrade program, whilst simultaneously bringing Ballarat’s sister ship, HMAS Anzac, back into service after completing the upgrade.
As Ballarat was being readied for the upgrade that will see a major increase in her capabilitiies, the ship’s company took time out to celebrate the significant milestone marking a decade of service to the Navy.
To celebrate the event, the members of Ballarat’s crew mustered in the hangar to wish her a happy birthday including cutting a cake made by her own Chefs. The cake was cut by the ship’s Commanding Officer, Commander Matt Doornbos, assisted by crew members Seaman Rylan Painter (the ship’s youngest crew member) and Chief Petty Officer Tony ‘Angry’ Anderson, a member of Ballarat’s commissioning crew.
“It is a very proud moment to see the ‘Ole Girl’ turn 10, and I wish her all the best through the Anti Ship Missile Defence Upgrade.
“I trust that future crews enjoy as many good times as I have in my postings to Ballarat,” Chief Petty Officer Anderson said.
HMAS Ballarat is the second RAN ship to bear the name and is the eighth Anzac Class Guided Missile Frigate to be built by the then Tenix Defence Systems in Williamstown, Australia.
She was laid down in August 2000, launched in May 2002 and commissioned on 26 June 2004.
Over the past ten years Ballarat has steamed in excess of 27,000 hours for a distance greater than of 324,000 nautical miles.
Press Release, July 29, 2014; Image: Australian Navy