Drug busting Darwin returns from the Middle East

Published on LEUT Sarah West (author), LSIS Nina Fogliani (photographer)

Location(s): Garden Island, Sydney

HMAS Darwin's Commanding Officer, Commander Terry Morrison, is welcomed home by his family as he returns to Australia after completing a successful six month deployment to the Middle East.  (photo: LSIS Nina Fogliani)
HMAS Darwin's Commanding Officer, Commander Terry Morrison, is welcomed home by his family as he returns to Australia after completing a successful six month deployment to the Middle East.

After 211 days away from home, HMAS Darwin has returned to Garden Island, Sydney after a successful deployment to the Middle East Region.

Under the Command of Commander Terry Morrison, Darwin intercepted and destroyed over $2.1 billion of narcotics and helped rescue 13 fishermen found adrift off the coast of Pakistan. 

Commander Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Stuart Mayer flew to the ship via Seahawk helicopter and joined the Darwin for an overnight sea ride as she steamed to her home-port.

HMAS Darwin returns to Fleet Base East, Garden Island, Sydney on Saturday, 16 August 2014, after a successful six month deployment to the Middle East.

HMAS Darwin returns to Fleet Base East, Garden Island, Sydney on Saturday, 16 August 2014, after a successful six month deployment to the Middle East.

Rear Admiral Mayer said the ship had made a tangible contribution to global security.

“By removing these drugs from circulation, Darwin denied extremist and terrorist organizations a key funding stream and promoted a secure maritime environment for the benefit of legitimate mariners,” Rear Admiral Mayer said. 

Excited family and friends joined Commander Surface Force, Commodore Jonathan Mead and the Federal Member for Wentworth, Malcolm Turnbull MP on the wharf to welcome Darwin alongside.

Commander Morrison said the ship’s company was proud of what they’d achieved.

“We are very proud to share our successes with our loved ones, who have provided us with support throughout this deployment.” 

“After seven months at sea, the crew’s excitement has been building as we’ve approached Sydney,” Commander Morrison said.

“We are looking forward to a well-deserved rest and some quality time with those we love, before we return to work and start to focus on our next mission.” 

Darwin deployed on Operation Slipper on 19 January 2014 and on 1 July 2014 was assigned to Operation Manitou to continue the Australian Defence Force’s contribution to the international effort to promote maritime security, stability and prosperity in the Middle East Region.

This was Darwin’s sixth deployment and the fifty-seventh rotation of a Royal Australian Navy Fleet Unit to the region since the first Gulf War in 1990.  Darwin was recently relieved by the Anzac class frigate HMAS Toowoomba.

Lieutenant Daniel McCall proposes to his partner Jayde Houston as HMAS  Darwin arrives Fleet Base East after a successful six month deployment to the Middle East.

Lieutenant Daniel McCall proposes to his partner Jayde Houston as HMAS Darwin arrives Fleet Base East after a successful six month deployment to the Middle East.

Petty Officer Matthew Macdonald reunites with his daughter Charlotte on the wharf at Garden Island, Sydney, after completing a successful six month deployment to the Middle East Region onboard HMAS Darwin.

Petty Officer Matthew Macdonald reunites with his daughter Charlotte on the wharf at Garden Island, Sydney, after completing a successful six month deployment to the Middle East Region onboard HMAS Darwin.

More images of HMAS Darwin's return to Australia can be found here: http://images.defence.gov.au/S20142409