Navy tanker back home for Christmas

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Gary McHugh (author)

Location(s): Fleet Base West, WA

Topic(s): HMAS Sirius (A266), Return to Australia

Family and friends of the ship's crew wave as HMAS Sirius returns to her home port of Fleet Base West, Rockingham, WA. (photo: LSIS Bradley Darvill)
Family and friends of the ship's crew wave as HMAS Sirius returns to her home port of Fleet Base West, Rockingham, WA.

Following a busy 12 months for HMAS Sirius, the Royal Australian Navy’s west coast-based replenishment ship returned to her home port of Fleet Base West on Sunday, to the smiling faces of family and friends.

Sirius has spent just 10 weeks of the past 12 months at Fleet Base West after three overseas deployments in 2019.

Commanding Officer of HMAS Sirius, Melanie Verho, thanked the ship’s company on their hard work and diligence over the course of the year.

Commander Verho said over the course of 2019, HMAS Sirius has participated in a number of international maritime exercises with our regional neighbours.

Sirius, which was part of Navy’s second multiple task group activity in the region this year, has been extremely effective in fulfilling her underway replenishment role for both our own and partner nations’ navies.

“While we ask a lot of the men and women who leave their families for extended periods to carry out their jobs, we also ask just as much from the loved ones they leave behind,” she said.

“The everyday tasks and duties at home still need to be carried out and this is where our Navy personnel rely on their families and friends for their invaluable support.”

Commander Verho will handover command of the ship shortly after returning to Australia.

She reflected on Sirius travelling more than 12,000 nautical miles over the past 10 weeks, taking part in a number of bilateral and multilateral maritime exercises.

“This included exercising with our regional partners Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and the UK during the Five Power Defence Arrangements Exercise BERSAMA LIMA off the coast of Malaysia,” Commander Verho said.

“Exercise MASTEX 19 was held in the waters off the coast of Eastern Malaysia where we participated in the Royal Malaysian Navy’s first ever dual replenishment at sea.

“We also participated in Exercise NEW HORIZON, a key bilateral maritime exercise with Indonesia that was held off the island of Java.”

HMAS Sirius also took part in the 75th commemoration of the Battle of Surigao Strait while in company with HMA Ships Stuart and Leeuwin during the Philippines phase of the ship’s deployment.

Imagery is available on the Navy Image Gallery: