While many Australians were relaxing with family and friends over the Christmas holiday period, twelve of the Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) ships were at sea.
Armidale Class Patrol Boat HMAS Albany was one of those ships at work on operations in Australian waters.
HMAS Albany’s crew were conducting a security patrol of the remote North West Shelf region while the rest of the nation paused and surged to holiday locations around the nation.
The region is home to oil and gas resource platforms and is regularly visited by the RAN and other ADF assets to complement routine operations conducted by Border Protection Command.
“These patrols are a solid workout for the crew particularly at this time of year with prevailing weather and provide a timely reminder to the nation of the importance of this region to our ability to trade and therefore to our national prosperity and security,” said Commanding Officer of HMAS Albany, Lieutenant Commander Rob Cucchi.
These patrols highlight the strategic importance of the region to Australia as a Nation and form part of the Australian Government’s maritime security framework to safeguard these off-shore facilities. They allow the Royal Australian Navy's ships to test communications, procedures and protocols between offshore oil and gas platforms and installations and Defence assets.
Albany is one of ten Darwin-based Armidale Class Patrol Boats who, along with their 15 crews, participate in these patrols on a regular basis.
With the inclusion of Australia’s Exclusive Economic Zone which extends up to 200nm around the mainland, Christmas, Cocos, Keeling, Norfolk, Heard, Macquarie and Lord Howe Islands, Australia has maritime responsibilities for around 10% of the world’s surface.