HMAS Arunta has sailed into her home port of Fleet Base West in Rockingham, Western Australia, after completing the longest Middle Eastern deployment of an Australian Navy vessel since the first Gulf War.
Senator for Western Australia, Linda Reynolds; Commander Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Stuart Mayer; and family and friends of the ship’s company welcomed the Anzac class frigate home after her nine-month deployment to Operation MANITOU.
During her deployment, Arunta intercepted more than 1310 kilograms of illegal narcotics with a street value of more than $186 million according to Australian Crime Commission figures.
Commanding Officer, Commander Cameron Steil, said the commitment and professionalism of the 191 crew were the keys to the success of the mission.
“Our training prepared us well, but it was the attitude and work ethic of this great team that saw us achieve so much as part of the Combined Maritime Forces,” Commander Steil said.
“We are proud of our contribution to global security and stability. We covered a lot of ocean and we are pleased to be home.
“Since departing in November last year, we have travelled more than 49,000 nautical miles, equivalent to 2.5 times around the world.
“In that time, Arunta worked as part of the Combined Maritime Forces to interrupt the illegal drug trade that funds terrorism.”
The Commander Australian Fleet said Arunta continued Australia’s record of illicit trade network disruption by working effectively with our international partners across the region.
“Australia has had a constant presence in the Middle East for decades, and the men and women of the Royal Australian Navy have regularly seized drugs and other illegal cargoes from the high seas,” Rear Admiral Mayer said.
“Arunta has maintained Australia’s high standing in the Combined Maritime Forces and proven our ability to continue to perform at the highest level while committing ships to the region for longer periods.”