Australia: Oiler HMAS Success farewelled after 33 years of service

Ship’s company of HMAS Success march off the ship for the last time during the decommissioning ceremony at Fleet Base East, Sydney. Photo: Royal Australian Navy/ABIS Leo Baumgartner

HMAS Success, the longest serving ship in Royal Australian Navy’s fleet, has completed her service to the nation and was decommissioned at her homeport at Sydney’s Garden Island on June 29.

Success – dubbed the ‘Battle Tanker’ – has been a vital part of the navy’s capability over the past 33 years.

The 157-meter-long Durance class replenishment oiler was the last major vessel built at Cockatoo Island in Sydney and the biggest ship in navy’s fleet at the time she was commissioned in 1986.

Over more than three decades she sailed more than a million nautical miles and completed almost 3,500 replenishments at sea around the world.

She earned battle honors for her service during the Gulf War in 1991 and East Timor in 1999, and also participated in a record 11 Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercises and the search for the missing Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370.

Despite her age, Success maintained a high tempo right to the end, deploying twice since May last year and returning from a four month overseas deployment just weeks before her service life came to an end.

Success will now make way for new replenishment ship NUSHIP Supply (II), which was launched in Ferrol, Spain last November.

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