Australian frigate HMAS Ballarat starts nine-month Middle East mission

HMAS Ballarat departs Fleet Base West to take part in operation Manitou. Photo: Royal Australian Navy

Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Ballarat got underway from her homeport Fleet Base West at Garden Island on October 28 to start her Middle East deployment.

The 190 sailors and officer on board will spend the next nine months conducting maritime security operations as part of the Australian defense forces’ operation Manitou.

Commander Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Jonathan Mead joined family and friends to farewell the ship and loved ones for their deployment.

RADM Mead said Ballarat would continue the RAN’s contribution to the Middle East region to ensuring safe and open access to the region while fostering trade and commerce.

“HMAS Ballarat’s ship’s company depart today as the 67th rotation in the Middle East region, continuing the ADF’s contribution in support of international efforts to promote maritime security, stability and prosperity,” RADM Mead said.

“Thank you to the families and friends who provide great support to these highly professional men and women during their preparation and throughout the deployment. I wish Ballarat all the best for safely completing their mission.”

Ballarat’s commanding officer, Commander Paul Johnson, said the crew were highly trained and motivated to carry out the tasks ahead.

“The men and women who serve in Ballarat have worked very hard preparing the ship for this long deployment,” Commander Johnson said.

“This will be the ship’s second deployment to the Middle East and we carry forward a considerable legacy.”

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