Ballarat patrols North West Shelf

This article has photo gallery Published on LCDR Mark Lucking (author), LSIS Lee-Anne Mack (photographer)

Topic(s): HMAS Ballarat (F155)

HMAS Ballarat patrolling the North West Shelf of Australia.  (photo: LSIS Lee-Anne Mack)
HMAS Ballarat patrolling the North West Shelf of Australia.

The north west coast of Western Australia, also known as the North West Shelf, is home to Australia’s vast and strategically vital oil and gas infrastructure.

HMAS Ballarat is part of the ongoing Australian Defence Force operations in the region to ensure security and stability of these critical assets by providing a sustained presence capable of detecting, locating and acting on threats to Australia's interests.

Ballarat’s Commanding Officer, Commander David Landon explained the importance of the long-standing operation.

“The Royal Australian Navy has had a sustained and continual presence in the North West Shelf because we know how strategically vital this region is for Australia,” Commander Landon said.

“This is the second time this year Ballarat has patrolled the area, and we bring a significant surveillance and response capability prepared for a variety of roles.”

Having completed a mission readiness evaluation, Ballarat is ready for a variety of contingent operations including maritime security patrols and interdiction boarding in support of Government border protection policy.

Ballarat’s MH-60R Seahawk Romeo helicopter operates in close support providing a valuable over-the-horizon surveillance capability.

The patrol is part of a high tempo year for Ballarat. The ship has circumnavigated Australia, participated in Exercise RIMPAC in Hawaii and travelled a distance equivalent of twice around the world.

The Anzac Class frigate is based at Fleet Base West in Western Australia, which is the home state for many of the crew.