Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Melbourne departed her home port of Fleet Base East bound to start a seven month deployment to the South West Pacific and North East Asia.
Melbourne’s deployment will include participation in the second iteration of Indo-Pacific Endeavour, exercise Kakadu in Australia’s north and a variety of port visits and community engagement in the North East Asian region.
She will also take part in one of the world’s largest multinational maritime exercises Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) in the Hawaiian archipelago where she will put her potent task group screening capabilities to the test.
Commanding officer, HMAS Melbourne, Commander Marcus Buttler said his crew were well prepared and excited for the task ahead.
“The ship’s company are a well-trained, capable, professional, high performing team who have worked tirelessly to prepare for this deployment,” he said as he addressed the gathering of well-wishers there to farewell their loved ones.
“But the support of the families and friends who are here today is an essential factor in their future successes.”
HMAS Melbourne is a 26-year-old Adelaide-class guided missile frigate. Her most recent deployment was Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2017, which saw more than 1,200 Australian Defence Force personnel, led by Canberra class amphibious ship HMAS Adelaide, train with partner navies in the Asia Pacific.