Minehunters northbound for international engagement

Published on LEUT Anthony Martin (author), ABIS Benjamin Ricketts (photographer)

Topic(s): HMAS Diamantina (M86), HMAS Gascoyne (M85), North East Asia Deployment

HMAS Diamantina departs Sydney Harbour for a three-month North East Asia Deployment. (photo: ABIS Benjamin Ricketts)
HMAS Diamantina departs Sydney Harbour for a three-month North East Asia Deployment.

Departing Sydney Harbour in the early evening, the Minehunters HMA Ships Diamantina and Gascoyne set sail on Monday for a three month North East Asia Deployment.

The deployment marks the second time Royal Australian Navy mine counter measures vessels have deployed to the East Asia Region. This will also be the first time a Commander Task Group and staff will deploy with the units.

The opportunity to build upon the relationships established with regional navies by the Minehunters in 2018 is an important component of the deployment.

The Commanding Officer of HMAS Diamantina, Lieutenant Commander Darren McDevitt said the officers and sailors on board the two vessels were prepared for the months ahead.

“The ship’s companies of Diamantina and Gascoyne are really excited about this trip and we are looking forward to the international engagement and exercises ahead of us,” he said.

For a number of personnel on both ships, this will be their first time deploying to northern waters.

The youngest crew member in Diamantina, 19 year old Able Seaman Marine Technician Sikharin Siyangkabuth, said she had enjoyed preparing for the three month deployment.

“This will be my first trip so far north of Australia.

“It will be great to visit Japan and work with the other Navies,” Able Seaman Siyangkabuth said.

This deployment enhances current international engagement activities, and promotes greater levels of military cooperation through the region.

Both ships will participate in the Republic of Korea (ROK) Multinational Mine warfare Exercise (MIWEX) and the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) Mine Counter Measures Exercise (MCMEX), Exercise HYUGA NADA.