The Royal Australian Navy helicopter frigate HMAS Anzac arrived in Souda Bay on the island of Crete in Greece on 18 April as part of its deployment on NORTHERN TRIDENT 2015.
Anzac departed Sydney on 15 March, and has transited the Southern Ocean, Indian Ocean, Red Sea and the Suez Canal before arriving in the Mediterranean Sea last week.
During her five month deployment, Anzac will represent Australia at Centenary of Anzac commemorative events in the Mediterranean, the Sea of Marmara, Cape Helles and Gallipoli.
The stop in Souda Bay is primarily a logistics visit, but also an opportunity for the ship’s company to receive some training from the NATO Maritime Interception Operations Centre and to get some respite after the long transit from home before a very busy schedule over the coming Centenary of Anzac Commemorative Events.
Anzac’s Commanding Officer Commander Belinda Wood noted the significance of the voyage to the Mediterranean.
“The journey to date has been in the true ANZAC spirit, as we travelled from Western Australia in company with our sister Anzac class frigate, New Zealand’s HMNZS Te Kaha, conducting training and operational exercises together during the transit.
“As we neared the Gulf of Aden we were joined by HMAS Success, the Australian Navy’s ‘battle tanker’, which is also participating in Centenary of Anzac events in the Mediterranean.
“Prior to arriving in Crete, Anzac and Success participated in passage exercises with the Hellenic Navy, providing a rare opportunity for the navies of Australia and Greece to work together.
“During our visit to Souda Bay, our crew learnt about Greek culture firsthand, while getting the ship ready for the next stage of our mission,” Commander Wood said.
HMAS Anzac is currently deployed on NORTHERN TRIDENT 2015 during which it will participate in the Centenary of Anzac commemorations in April, followed by a series of important international engagements.