Minister for Defense Stephen Smith today welcomed HMAS Toowoomba home from a six-month deployment to the Middle East Area of Operations (MEAO).
Minister Smith greeted the crew at her homeport Fleet Base West (HMAS Stirling), Rockingham, Western Australia.
HMAS Toowoomba is an ANZAC Class Frigate with a crew of 191 men and women. As part of Operation SLIPPER, she provided essential naval support to International Maritime Security Operations in the Arabian Gulf.
While deployed, HMAS Toowoomba participated in counter-terrorism operations in the Gulf of Oman and North Arabian Sea, and counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden and in the waters off the Horn of Africa and the Somali Basin.
Toowoomba was replaced on station by HMAS Newcastle, which took over in late May. This marked the end of Toowoomba’s fourth rotation to the MEAO.
This was the fifty-fourth rotation of a RAN ship to the MEAO since the commencement of the first Gulf War in 1990.
Minister Smith congratulated the ship’s company on a challenging but successful operation.
The deployment made a significant contribution to maritime security and continued the longstanding tradition maintaining Australia’s high standing as a maritime security partner in the Middle East.
Minister Smith also thanked families and friends of members of the crew for their support for their loved ones who deployed overseas during this period.