The crew responsible for intercepting and destroying billions of dollars worth of narcotics, including the largest seizure of heroin in the history of the Combined Maritime Forces, has returned home.
HMAS Darwin and her 232 person crew docked at Garden Island, Sydney today after seven months of successful maritime security operations in the Middle East Region.
Hundreds of family and friends of the ship’s company were on the wharf to welcome the warship back to her home-port.
Commander Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Stuart Mayer, CSC and Bar, RAN joined Darwin the night prior to arrival and said the ship had made a tangible contribution to global security.
“Darwin intercepted and destroyed over $2.1 billion of narcotics during her deployment,” RADM Mayer said.
“By removing these drugs from circulation, Darwin denied extremist and terrorist organisations a key funding stream and promoted a secure maritime environment for the benefit of legitimate mariners.”
Commanding Officer Darwin, Commander Terence Morrison said his ship’s company worked tirelessly to achieve their mission of supporting the aims of the US-led Combined Maritime Forces and Combined Task Force 150.
“Aside from seizing and destroying vast quantities of drugs, we were also involved in search and rescue operations and a delicate aero-medical evacuation,” CMDR Morrison said.
“Today we are very proud to share our successes with our loved ones, who have provided us with support throughout this deployment.”
Darwin left Sydney on Operation SLIPPER on 19 January 2014 and on 1 July was reassigned to Operation MANITOU to continue the Australian Defence Force’s contribution to the international effort to promote maritime security, stability and prosperity in the Middle East Region.
This was Darwin’s sixth deployment and the 57th rotation of a Royal Australian Navy Fleet Unit to the region since the first Gulf War in 1990.
Darwin was recently relieved by the Anzac class frigate HMAS Toowoomba.