There were banners, tears and hugs on Diamantina Wharf at Fleet Base West on August 22 as HMA Ships Sirius and Stuart headed off on deployment.
The bright sunny conditions did little to take the chill off the strong southerly wind that kept families and friends huddled together as their loved ones departed.
Speaking before Sirius slipped her lines, Senior Officer Western Australia, Commodore Brett Dowsing, said the deployment of these ships was a significant occasion.
“The deployments of Sirius and Stuart today is extremely important to Australia’s national interests,” he said.
“As well as participating in a number of significant exercises during their deployments, Sirius and Stuart will also be flying the flag for Australia.
“As such, every member of these ships’ companies are ambassadors not only for your ships and Navy but also for our country.
“Your work, professionalism and engagement with foreign navies and peoples are vitally important and reflect our nation’s pride in you.
“Look after yourselves and your shipmates and enjoy these deployments – best wishes to all.”
Despite sailing together for Exercise KAKADU 2018 which will be held off Darwin, both ships will have a very different schedule of events over the next few months as their programs take them to various ports of call, both in Australia and overseas.
Stuart is expected to return towards the end of the year. Following her deployment, Sirius will enter a period of maintenance on the east coast before returning to Fleet Base West next year.