Without fanfare, HMAS Ballarat departed Fleet Base East early on 5 August 2013 to conduct some additional warfare training before commencing a three month South East Asian and Operation RESOLUTE deployment, following almost a month of intense Unit Readiness Workups.
The deployment is a milestone for a number of the 180 members of the ship's company. Twenty percent of the crew are undertaking their first deployment, while for some it marks the first time they've left Australia.
Commanding Officer of Ballarat, Commander Matthew Doornbos, says the ship's company has worked hard to prepare for the deployment.
“It has been a busy period for Ballarat leading up to this deployment, with Unit Readiness Work Ups testing the ship’s ability to come together as a team and show the Navy what she is capable of. A final training assessment is all that remains and I am looking forward to a successful deployment that will strengthen our ties within the region. It will also provide new experiences to members of the ship's company,” said Commander Doornbos.
Ballarat is scheduled to undertake a number of important international engagements during her deployment to South East Asia. Ballarat will visit Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, Singapore and Langkawi in Malaysia, participating in the Malaysian and Australian Training Exercise (MASTEX) with the Royal Malaysian Navy. Ballarat will also take part in Operation RESOLUTE as part of the Australian Defence Force's commitment to Border Protection prior to returning to Sydney in late October.