HMAS Toowoomba forms new crew

Royal Australian Navy’s Anzac-class frigate HMAS Toowoomba has formed a new crew, for the first time since 2010, thereby achieving a significant milestone, the navy said.

Personnel formed up to crew HMAS Toowoomba, currently undergoing an Anti-Ship Missile Defence upgrade at Henderson Shipyard, Western Australia, on August 1. The frigate is expected to undock next month.

Toowoomba Commanding Officer, Commander Stuart Watters, said the event marked a significant achievement in force generation at a time of increased demand from the fleet since the introduction of new capabilities such as the Canberra class amphibious ships.

Toowoomba is the seventh frigate to receive the upgrade, which involves the installation of Australian-developed radar technology.

However, unlike the previous upgrades, Toowoomba will not undergo a crew swap – where a crew from a ship about to enter deep maintenance take responsibility of a ship coming out of maintenance. Rather, the warship will start with a whole new crew.

Executive Officer, Lieutenant Commander Hamish Frazer, described Toowoomba’s reactivation as a “significant challenge”, effectively returning her from an empty shell to an operational and seaworthy vessel.

“I am confident Toowoomba can overcome the challenges and be ready to participate in Exercise TALISMAN SABRE 2017 – a bi-lateral exercise between US and Australian defence forces,” he said.

Toowoomba is expected to return to Fleet Base West by late November and commence her work up in early 2017.

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