HMAS Toowoomba Departs for Middle East

The Royal Australian Navy’s Anzac Class frigate HMAS Toowoomba has departed from her home port of Fleet Base West in Rockingham, Western Australia to the Middle East.

Toowoomba is the 68th rotation of a Royal Australian Navy ship to the region since 1990.

As part of Operation MANITOU, the deployment is part of the Australian Defence Force’s contribution to promote maritime security and stability.

Attending the farewell, Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC said Toowoomba and its 190 sailors would support Australia’s safe and open access to the region, and reaffirm our commitment to freedom of navigation.

“This highly capable vessel will focus on promoting maritime security, stability and prosperity in the Middle East by supporting counter‑terrorism, preventing piracy, and freedom of navigation,” Minister Reynolds said.

“The importance of this deployment cannot be overstated in the Middle East and the Indian Ocean Region and is essential to the security of our nation and our economy.”

Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Michael Noonan AO said Toowoomba’s Ship’s Company were ready for the mission following 12 months of preparation.

“Commander Mitchell Livingstone and his crew have worked tirelessly to prepare for this deployment, and will form an integral part of the multi-national Combined Maritime Force and International Maritime Security Construct,” Vice Admiral Noonan said.

Vice Admiral Noonan also paid tribute to the families of Toowoomba’s Ship’s Company whose support is also significant to the deployment.

“We ask a lot of the men and women of Toowoomba who leave their families and friends for this deployment, but we also ask as much from those they leave behind,” Vice Admiral Noonan said.

Toowoomba is scheduled to return in July 2020.

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