The Royal Australian Navy helicopter frigate HMAS Anzac returned to her home port of Fleet Base East in Sydney today, following a five month long NORTHERN TRIDENT 2015 deployment.
During NORTHERN TRIDENT, Anzac clocked up over 27,000 nautical miles as she navigated the Southern and Indian Oceans, Red Sea, Suez Canal, the Mediterranean Sea and the Northern and Southern Atlantic Oceans, spending some 94 days at sea and visiting 13 ports in 11 countries.
Commanding Officer, Commander Belinda Wood, described the significance of the deployment.
“During NORTHERN TRIDENT 2015 Anzac performed important roles on behalf of the Government of Australia, and the Australian Defence Force, at the core of which were the Centenary of Anzac events around Gallipoli and the Sea of Marmara in April.
“The ship hosted a special event to commemorate the success and subsequent loss of HMAS AE2, the Australian submarine that was the first Allied vessel to break through the Dardanelles into the Sea of Marmara in the early hours of 25 April 1915.
“Over the Anzac Day period, Anzac also participated in commemorative sail pasts of monuments to the Turkish force and Commonwealth, before taking pride of place in the dawn sail past at Anzac Cove, and later serving as a backdrop for the service at Lone Pine,” Commander Wood said.
In addition to paying respect to those who landed on those shores in 1915, the Centenary of Anzac has equally commemorated the 102,000 Australians who have died in the service of their nation in the century since.
Anzac participated in D-Day commemorations in Normandy, France, and conducted or participated in memorial services for Australian Navy personnel buried in Italy, Malta, South Africa and Mauritius.
The ship also undertook a number of engagements in the Mediterranean, Western Europe, Africa and the Indian Ocean, helping to strengthen Australia’s military and civil relationships across the globe.
The visits to South Africa and Mauritius were particularly notable as both nations are members of the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium, an organisation which Australia currently chairs, and which is of strategic importance to the economic stability and security of the Indian Ocean region.
The deployment has also provided significant opportunity for the Australian Navy to participate in exercises with foreign navies, including the British, French, Hellenic, New Zealand, Portuguese, Spanish and Turkish navies.
“Visits by Australian Navy ships to Europe and Africa occur only every five years or so, and the opportunity to build and enhance our interoperability with these navies marks an important milestone for not just Anzac but for the Australian Navy as a whole.
“Enhancing international partnerships serves to build our own skills, and during NORTHERN TRIDENT 2015 we were able to hone our high end warfighting, mariner and seamanship skills,” Commander Wood said.
Having successfully completed NORTHERN TRIDENT 2015, HMAS Anzac will begin preparations for her next taskings in the coming months.
Imagery of the deployment and arrival is at http://images.navy.gov.au/S20150611