Royal Australian Navy’s Adelaide-class frigate HMAS Newcastle got underway from Garden Island, Sydney on Sunday to start her sixth deployment to the Middle East.
This is Newcastle’s final deployment as she is scheduled to decommission in 2019.
Family and friends joined the Acting Commander Australian Fleet, Commodore Luke Charles-Jones, on the wharf to bid the crew fair winds and following seas as they deployed for six months on operation Manitou.
Commanding Officer HMAS Newcastle, Commander Mark Sirois, said the ship’s company had worked hard to prepare to undertake maritime security operations.
“Operating as part of the multi-national Combined Maritime Forces, we will support efforts to counter and deter terrorism and the trade of narcotics on the seas.
“We have spent months preparing for today and look forward to making a contribution to global security,” Commander Sirois said.
Commodore Charles-Jones said Newcastle would continue Australia’s commitment to security and stability in the Middle East region.
“Australia has been a long time contributor in the Middle East,” Commodore Charles-Jones said.
“This is the 65th time that the Royal Australian Navy has provided a ship to the region since 1990 and we remain committed to ensuring safe and open access to the region while fostering trade and commerce.”
This rotation is the last time an Adelaide class guided missile frigate will deploy for the Australian Navy as this class of ships are being progressively retired from service. Newcastle will relieve Anzac class frigate, HMAS Arunta, which has been on patrol in the Middle East for close to nine months.
Newcastle leaves her home-port of Sydney to participate in exercises off the Western Australian coast before she sails north.