Toowoomba’s quick re-supply for urgent deployment to MH370 search

Published on LCDR Edward Ellison (author), LSIS Bradley Darvill (photographer)

Location(s): Fleet Base West, WA

Topic(s): Operations, HMAS Toowoomba (F156), HMAS Success (OR 304)

Stores and equipment are unloaded from HMAS Toowoomba before the ship is replenished in preparation of support to Operation SOUTHERN INDIAN OCEAN in the search for missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370.  (photo: LSIS Bradley Darvill)
Stores and equipment are unloaded from HMAS Toowoomba before the ship is replenished in preparation of support to Operation SOUTHERN INDIAN OCEAN in the search for missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370.

In a demonstration of the Royal Australian Navy’s commitment to the search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, personnel at Fleet Base West (FBW) resupplied and helped HMAS Toowoomba return to sea in under six hours.

Toowoomba was tasked to Operation SOUTHERN INDIAN OCEAN (Op SIO) from operations in northern Australia, resulting in a rapid three day transit down the west coast to FBW.

On Saturday 29 March the ship disembarked her Transit Security Element (TSE), offloaded stores and equipment and then on-loaded helicopter stores and clearance diving equipment.

Even before the ship was completely alongside, Port Services personnel were moving into position with cranes, empty trucks and pallets.

Joint Logistics Unit-West (JLU-W) coordinated additional stores for on-loading to HMAS Toowoomba to pass to HMAS Success which was already in the search area.

Fleet Support Unit-West (FSU-W) joined the effort to ready Toowoomba for search operations by conducting system repairs and planned maintenance.

Commander Matthew Doornbos, Commanding Officer of Toowoomba, remarked that quick turnaround of equipment and stores was made possible by the team ashore.

“It was impressive to see so many concurrent activities conducted with a common purpose in such a short time,” Commander Doornbos said.

“Without this support, some of Toowoomba’s team would not have been able to spend a few moments on the wharf with their friends and family before proceeding on this internationally important operation and for that, I thank them.”

HMAS Toowoomba has now joined HMAS Success in the search area located almost 1700km north-west of Perth.

Imagery is available on the Australian Defence Image Library at http://images.defence.gov.au/S20140776.