SENATOR THE HON LINDA REYNOLDS CSC
Minister for Defence
Senator for Western Australia
NAVY FRIGATE DEPARTS FOR MIDDLE EAST DEPLOYMENT
The Royal Australian Navy’s Anzac Class frigate, HMAS Toowoomba, today departed her homeport of Fleet Base West in Rockingham, Western Australia for a six-month deployment to the Middle East.
Toowoomba will deploy as part of Operation MANITOU, the Australian Defence Force’s contribution to support international efforts to promote maritime security, stability and prosperity in the Middle East Region.
Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds, CSC, said an enhanced security environment in the Middle East ensures Australia’s safe and open access to the region, while fostering trade and commerce on the open seas.
“Toowoomba’s contribution to the 33-nation Combined Maritime Force (CMF) is focused on promoting the free flow of commerce, countering terrorism, preventing piracy, encouraging regional cooperation and enabling a safe maritime environment,” Minister Reynolds said.
“By deploying assets such as Toowoomba to the area, the Australian Government reaffirms its commitment to freedom of navigation and safe passage in the region.
“The importance of this deployment cannot be overstated as the Middle East Region remains strategically important to Australia’s economic and trade interests.”
Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Michael Noonan, AO, RAN, said Toowoomba’s Ship’s Company were ready for the mission following 12 months of preparations.
“Commander Mitchell Livingstone and his Ship’s Company have worked tirelessly to prepare for this deployment, and will form an integral part of the multi-national CMF,” 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.
This deployment is the 68th rotation of a Royal Australian Navy ship to the Gulf region, with HMAS Toowoomba scheduled to return to Fleet Base West in July 2020.
Imagery will be available at: https://images.defence.gov.au/S20200131