HMAS Toowoomba arrived in the Middle East Region (MER) on 10 August 2014 on Operation MANITOU for tasking within the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF).
Operation MANITOU is the Australian Government’s contribution to the international effort to promote maritime security, stability and prosperity in the MER.
Toowoomba’s Commanding Officer, Commander Cath Hayes, said Toowoomba’s team has trained hard in preparation for the Operation MANITOU mission and they should be justifiably proud and confident that they are prepared to tackle the challenges which lie ahead.
“Team Toowoomba is well prepared, we now have the opportunity to demonstrate the professionalism and flexibility for which we have become renowned,” Commander Hayes said.
“This is the first operational deployment for many of the Ship’s Company and for some this is also the first time they have ever been outside of Australia.
“On the 4850 nm (9000km) journey to the MER, Toowoomba visited Diego Garcia for seven hours in order to refuel where some people took advantage of the visit to play a friendly soccer game against a combined US/UK team.
“In the final leg of the journey we conducted an under way replenishment of fuel with Royal Fleet Auxiliary Wave Ruler before visiting Muscat, Oman to receive briefings from key staff from Joint Task Force 633 (JTF 633) and representatives from the Combined Maritime Force (CMF).”
Toowoomba was welcomed into JTF 633 by Commander Joint Task Force 633 (CJTF 633), Major General C. Orme, AM, CSC.
During the visit CJTF 633 addressed the Ship’s Company on the “big picture” of the MER and explained the Operation MANITOU mission, Toowoomba’s role in the JTF 633 team and the complexity of the region.
The deployment marks the 58th rotation of Royal Australian Navy warships to support coalition maritime security operations in the MER since 1990. It’s the fourth time Toowoomba has been deployed for duties in the MER.