After 180 days deployed, HMAS Newcastle returned triumphantly from the Middle East region to Garden Island, Sydney yesterday, September 27.
Newcastle intercepted around 1.4 tonnes of heroin, valued at approximately AUD$1.2 billion dollars while deployed on Operation MANITOU.
The ship’s company of 228 were welcomed back by Commodore Warfare, Commodore Peter Leavy, along with family and friends.
Commodore Leavy said the narcotic seizures were significant and will have an impact.
This was a remarkable effort and denied terrorist organisations funding and has taken the Australian Navy’s total seizures in the Middle East over the last two years to an estimated street value of $AUD 2.3 billion.
Operation MANITOU is Australia’s contribution to counter terrorism, counter piracy, narcotics interdiction and improves overall stability to the Middle East region, the Persian Gulf, the Gulf of Aden, the Red Sea and parts of the Indian Ocean.
Royal Australian Navy ships have been continuously deployed to the Middle East since the start of the first Gulf War in 1990. Newcastle was 60th rotation. The frigate was replaced on station by sister-ship, HMAS Melbourne.
Image: Australian Navy