CN’s message on return of HMA ships Arunta and Stuart

Today, I welcome back to Australia the resilient and hard-working Sailors and Officers of HMA Ships ARUNTA and STUART. Our Navy Family is extremely proud of you after a remarkable 100-plus days at sea.

This was a uniquely challenging deployment due to the ongoing pandemic, with no port visits and extra diligence in your interactions for logistics and replenishments. I observed your flexibility and resilience as you adapted your work methods where needed, found creative outlets to have fun and reduce stress, and displayed professionalism and our Navy Signature Behaviours throughout. Needless to say, I am very proud of our People.

Your work is valued and is vital. The training you conducted with our regional neighbours strengthens our relationships with other navies, builds our own skills and helps ensure the stability and safety of the region in which we live.

Here are a few highlights of this deployment for the two returning ships, of which you and your Families can be extremely proud:

During Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) in Hawaii, HMAS STUART not only successfully fired two Harpoon Missiles but also coordinated the missile firings of three other ships during one of RIMPAC’s best-known serials called the SINKEX, where participants sink a decommissioned warship.

As the first frigate to complete the Anzac Midlife Capability Assurance Program (AMCAP) upgrade, HMAS ARUNTA successfully fired Surface-to-Air Missiles at RIMPAC. Conducted alongside ships from Canada and the United States, the firing demonstrated the lethality of the upgraded Anzac class frigate and her world-class Australian systems.

Both ships conducted maritime manoeuvres and communication drills in the Celebes Sea with the Philippines Navy.

They joined eight warships comprising more than 1,500 personnel from Japan, the Republic of Korea and the United States for Exercise Pacific Vanguard in waters off Guam.

Your Ships’ Companies have been at the forefront of activities that contribute to the security of Australia, and I thank you for this undertaking.

Finally, I want to thank the Family and Friends who support our People while they are away. I know it has been a trying year and a long deployment, and our People could not do it without your support on the homefront. I know both ship’s companies will be welcomed home with open arms when they return to their home ports.




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