It was a happy occasion tinged with a hint of sadness as HMAS Newcastle arrived alongside Fleet Base East after entering Sydney Harbour for the final time with her ‘paying off’ pennant flying.
Family and friends waited patiently alongside, welcoming the ship’s company home from their four month deployment.
Signs on the wharf ranged from ‘welcome home’ banners to birthday wishes.
For many of the crew it felt good to be home, but for some it was also a sad moment -knowing this was the last time the ship would arrive in port.
Following a brief period of downtime, the ship and her crew will prepare for decommissioning later this month.
HMAS Newcastle is the last of the Adelaide class frigates commissioned into the Royal Australian Navy and the last of her type to be built in Australia - in Williamstown, Victoria.
For the Commanding Officer, Commander Anita Sellick, the return to Sydney was a momentous occasion.
“I am so proud of the ship and crew for all that has been achieved over the last few months.
“I know, like the rest of the crew, I’m looking forward to spending some time with my family,” Commander Sellick said.
After more than 25 years’ of service, HMAS Newcastle will be decommissioned in a ceremony at Fleet Base East on June 30.
Information about HMAS Newcastle is available at: http://www.navy.gov.au/hmas-newcastle