First Lady’s CO reflects on successful mission

Published on LEUT Dave Devlin (author), LSIS Steven Thomson (photographer), CPOIS Kelvin Hockey (photographer)

Location(s): Fleet Base East, NSW

Topic(s): HMAS Success (OR 304)

Families and friends gather to meet HMAS Success as it returns to Fleet Base East after a four month deployment to South East Asia and the Pacific. (photo: LSIS Steven Thomson)
Families and friends gather to meet HMAS Success as it returns to Fleet Base East after a four month deployment to South East Asia and the Pacific.

HMAS Success is now alongside in Sydney, preparing for her decommissioning, having returned from her last overseas deployment last week.

After four months away as part of the Indo-Pacific Endeavour Task Group, looking out the bridge window at Sydney’s Centrepoint Tower as HMAS Success crossed ‘line Zulu’ one last time was a wonderous sight to behold for her ship’s company.

As part of the Task Group, Success again performed the important role of providing fuel and stores to the other ships and submarines. 

HMAS Success approaches Fleet Base East, Garden Island, Sydney for the final time as a commissioned ship in the Royal Australian Navy.

HMAS Success approaches Fleet Base East, Garden Island, Sydney for the final time as a commissioned ship in the Royal Australian Navy.

As Success prepared for her final entry into Sydney Harbour, her Commanding Officer, Captain Darren Grogan, took the opportunity to reflect on the achievements’ of the retiring first lady of the fleet.

“There are always the statistics - 33 years of service to the fleet, 3424 replenishments conducted, 997,000 nautical miles steamed.

“But, in my thoughts are other reflective moments this great ship has given,” Captain Grogan said.

“I think one of the most amazing facts is that we have nearly passed 500 million litres of fuel to our many customers over the years.

“Amazingly, the ship is still performing very well, which is a credit to the many people who have invested in her – to the point that during this deployment of 4.5 months we did not miss a single day or have to delay a Replenishment at Sea because of a major defect or personnel deficiency. 

“Perhaps the old girl is resisting retirement!”

“Arriving home is a bit of an emotional roller coaster. Having been away for more than four months it’s a very happy occasion to be reunited with our families, friends, and loved ones, but when the fan fare is over a touch of sadness creeps in as we realise it’s the end of the road of this ole’ girl.

“But they say all good things must come to an end, and we always look to the future.

“I’m in the fortunate position of not only decommissioning Success, but I also get to be the commissioning Commanding Officer of her replacement, NUSHIP Supply, which is finalising her fit out in Spain and will shortly start sea trials,” Captain Grogan said.

HMAS Success will decommission on 29 June at Sydney’s Fleet Base East.