The 2017 Queen’s Birthday Honours List named three leaders from the Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Darwin recognised for their service in the ship’s recent deployment to the Middle East.
Although Darwin is set to be decommissioned in late 2017, the ship and her crew have been actively continuing the ship’s proud contribution to Australia’s national security.
Conducted first through a seven month deployment to the Middle East on Operation MANITOU, and then continuing the hectic pace in waters around Australia as well as being a key part of Australia’s response to the November 2016 earthquake that struck Kaikoura, New Zealand.
Darwin’s deployment on Operation MANITOU was highly acclaimed by the Australian Government and Coalition Maritime Force partners, resulting in the seizure of 952 kilograms of illicit narcotics and 2,158 illegal weapons.
These seizures directly reduced the availability of funds and arms to criminals and terrorist groups.
The three members of Darwin’s ship’s company recognised for honours were the Commanding Officer, Commander Phillip Henry, the Executive Officer, Lieutenant Commander Tina Brown and Chief Petty Officer Marine Technician Andrew Sims.
Commander Henry was recognised with the Conspicuous Service Cross for outstanding achievement on MANITOU during 2016.
Commander Henry's command and leadership in support of Coalition Maritime Force operations was a critical factor in the successful deployment.
Lieutenant Commander Brown was awarded the Conspicuous Service Medal for meritorious devotion to duty in the field of maritime leadership.
Chief Petty Officer Sims was also awarded the Conspicuous Service Medal, with the citation noting that he was being recognised for ‘meritorious achievement in the performance of duty in the field of Navy marine engineering’.
“We are humbled by the honours that have been awarded, and are grateful of the recognition of Darwin’s collective efforts,” Commander Henry said.
“Lieutenant Commander Brown's leadership and tenacity has set her apart from her peers, and her innovative solutions to issues have set a benchmark within the Fleet.
“Chief Petty Officer Sims' performance and dedication to duty has been outstanding and his professionalism and commitment to operational performance ensured all auxiliary systems were serviceable throughout Darwin's deployment, every day of the seven months.
“I also want to acknowledge that we cannot deploy and achieve operational success without the support of the rest of the Navy, and most importantly, our friends and family and that we share these awards with.
“The ship’s company’s dedication to our mission continues throughout 2017, with Darwin’s upcoming decommissioning to be an important celebration of more than 36 years of service, and the contributions by the many sailors and officers who have called her home.”