HMAS Perth ready for Operation MANITOU

HMAS Perth has successfully completed an intense training and assessment phase prior to the ship deploying in support of Operation MANITOU.

The period culminated in Perth being declared ‘mission ready’ by Commodore Training, Commodore Michael Rothwell recently.

Perth has spent the past few weeks aggressively defending herself against air, surface and sub-surface threats as well as responding to asymmetric attacks from small boats and land-based missile strikes.

A highlight of the mission rehearsal training was the support provided by the Australian Special Air Service Regiment who employed boats to create high-threat encounters.

The scenarios became increasingly complex with work-up events testing competing and conflicting self protection, damage control, boarding, aviation and casualty management demands.

Given the scope of Perth’s mission, a considerable emphasis was placed on boarding operations.

Boarding Officer, Lieutenant Tim Russell-Cook said the ship was now in the final stages of preparing for deployment.

“The last few months have been challenging with little opportunity for respite,” Lieutenant Russell-Cook said.

“However, our hard work has really paid off and I’m very proud of what Perth and our Boarding Team have achieved.

“Now well-trained, I’m really looking forward to facing some exciting and rewarding professional challenges for which we are well equipped and fully prepared.”

Commodore Rothwell said that it was a pleasure to be on Perth and see the team in action.

“Be under no illusion, you will be deploying to one of the most dangerous regions in the world. That said, you are fully-prepared to undertake this mission,” Commodore Rothwell said.

“I am extremely impressed by your enthusiasm, attitude and your sense of spirit and teamwork. It was a great performance from the entire Perth team.”

In the final week of their assessment, Perth also hosted a visit by Major General Stuart Smith, Deputy Chief of Joint Operations.

HMAS Perth will be the first anti-ship missile defence upgraded Anzac frigate to deploy to the Middle East will also deploy with Australia’s first MH-60R Seahawk helicopter flight.

Currently supporting the delivery of Marine Technician training as part of Plan Meteor, Perth returned to Fleet Base West at the end of April for pre-deployment preparations prior to departing in early June.

The assignment will be as the 63rd rotation of a Royal Australian Navy vessel to the Middle East since the early 1990s.

Image: Australian Navy

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