Navy Minehunters return from record-setting deployment

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Ryan Zerbe (author), ABIS Thomas Sawtell (photographer)

Location(s): HMAS Waterhen, NSW

Topic(s): HMAS Diamantina (M86), HMAS Gascoyne (M85), Return to Australia

HMAS Gascoyne sails through Sydney Harbour on her return from a North East Asian deployment. (photo: ABIS Thomas Sawtell)
HMAS Gascoyne sails through Sydney Harbour on her return from a North East Asian deployment.

Two Royal Australian Navy Minehunters have returned home just in time for Christmas, following a successful overseas deployment that saw them travel a record distance.

HMAS Ships Diamantina and Gascoyne travelled more than thirteen thousand nautical miles in the past four months as they deployed to East Asia for multinational and bilateral exercises in Japan and South Korea.

Defence Minister Linda Reynolds said Diamantina and Gascoyne had contributed to Navy’s broader efforts to foster Australia’s longstanding relationships in the region.

Diamantina and Gascoyne were two of eleven vessels and their crews among the more than one thousand Navy people deployed to East Asia since September,” Senator Reynolds said.

“Destroyer HMAS Hobart, Anzac class Frigates Stuart, Parramatta and Arunta, the replenishment ship HMAS Sirius, HMA Submarines Collins and Dechaineux, the Hydrographic Survey ship HMAS Leeuwin and the Armidale class patrol boat HMAS Ararat have also deployed on similar regional engagement missions.

Diamantina and Gascoyne are the last two ships to return home. They can enjoy the festive season knowing they have represented the nation superbly overseas,” Senator Reynolds said.

Commanding Officer of HMAS Diamantina, Lieutenant Commander Darren McDevitt, said 2019 had been a milestone year for his ship’s company.

“This year we have sailed as far east as Sri Lanka and as far north as the 42nd parallel in Japan, both of which are record distances for any Minehunter in the history of the Royal Australian Navy,” Lieutenant Commander McDevitt said.

“We have also sailed more nautical miles this year than any other Australian Minehunter ever has before. Achieving this is a testament to the hard work of the Navy people who keep Diamantina going.

“To travel so far and to prove our mine warfare skills alongside our Japanese and South Korean partners makes us very proud,” he said. 

Diamantina and Gascoyne are two of four Huon class Minehunters based at HMAS Waterhen in Sydney.

Imagery is available on the Navy Image Gallery: http://images.navy.gov.au/s20193245.