Support ship returns from Indo-Pacific mission

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Will Singer (author), POIS Andrew Dakin (photographer)

Location(s): Fleet Base West, WA

Topic(s): Fleet Base West, HMAS Sirius (A266), Indo-Pacific Endeavour

Stock image: Chief Petty Officer Communication and Information Systems Leighton Potts communicates via signal lamp with HMAS Sirius during Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2017.
 (photo: POIS Andrew Dakin)
Stock image: Chief Petty Officer Communication and Information Systems Leighton Potts communicates via signal lamp with HMAS Sirius during Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2017.

True to her motto of ‘To Serve and Provide', HMAS Sirius sailed into her home port of Fleet Base West after almost four months at sea on 15 December, in time for well-earned Christmas break.

Family and friends of the 73 crew gathered around Diamantina Wharf to welcome back the underway replenishment ship after participating in the Indo-Pacific Endeavour deployment. 

Commanding Officer, Commander Michael Oborn said that their recent mission focussed on enhancing military cooperation with some of Australia’s key regional partners including Indonesia, Japan, India, Malaysia, Singapore, the Republic of Korea, the Philippines, Brunei, Timor-Leste, Thailand, Cambodia and the Federated States of Micronesia.

“The deployment was part of ongoing efforts to enhance and develop strong positive relations with regional militaries through both dialogue and practical activities,” Commander Oborn said. 

“The Joint Task Group demonstrated the Australian Defence Force’s ability to operate across the full spectrum of military operations, from high-end military capabilities such as anti-submarine warfare to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

“The deployment involved service personnel from the Australian Army and Royal Australian Air Force and including Defence civilians, helicopters, and fixed wing aircraft,” he said. 

Sirius chalked-up ground-breaking objectives including the delivery of 23 pallets of consigned cargo to USS Lake Erie - the first time Sirius has conducted international consigned cargo on such a large scale. 

Working day and night in testing conditions, Sirius extended the operational reach and endurance to eight ships by conducting 24 replenishments at sea providing a total of 8,615 cubic metres of fuel– rapidly closing on the 100 million litres milestone of her service life. 

Glad to be home - Deputy Maritime Logistics Officer Lieutenant Theresa Swift said that there were many memorable moments from the voyage especially conducting replenishment evolutions with Lake Erie - the Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser of the United States Navy. 

“The crew had the opportunity to dig out the boots and play a game of soccer against the Royal Malaysian Navy,” Lieutenant Swift said.

“We also conducted a swimming exercise in the South China Sea, celebrated Halloween, Melbourne Cup and some personnel had cross-decking opportunities,” she said.