Family and friends gathered at Fleet Base West on 26 July to welcome home HMAS Perth after a busy three month deployment to South East Asia. The deployment covered a wide range of regional engagement and diplomacy duties, including visits to Singapore, Thailand and Cambodia, as well as participating in a number of maritime exercises with international partners.
Despite the cold of an early winter morning in Western Australia, Perth’s Commanding Officer, Captain Ivan Ingham, said the reception was warm and cheerful as ship’s company disembarked to greet their loved ones.
“After a busy and varied three months, which have been both professionally and personally rewarding, it was great to be back with many of those who have provided us with tremendous support whilst we were away,” Captain Ingham said.
“I received universal praise from the countries we visited, and the navies we operated with, for the professional way Perth conducted its business.
“Whilst in turn, we learned much from working closely with our regional neighbours and enjoyed the opportunities of experiencing their rich and diverse cultures.”
Perth’s return home will provide the Navy with another first in the anti-ship missile defence upgrade program. All four upgraded Anzac class frigates were alongside together at Fleet Base West recently; the three Western Australia-based ships, HMA Ships Perth, Arunta and Warramunga, will be joined by Anzac, which is en route to Sydney after a busy NORTHERN TRIDENT deployment.
“Having four upgraded ships together for the first time marks a real milestone with half the class now completed," Captain Ingham said.
“Having been involved in the upgrade programme from the start, I am acutely aware of the huge amount of work and challenges that the Anzac community have overcome to upgrade these ships and ensure they will be capable of meeting future emerging threats."
Perth will shortly enter an extended maintenance period before returning to sea in early 2016.