Royal Australian Navy warship HMAS Ballarat has returned to her home port of Fleet Base West near Rockingham, Western Australia, following a successful Indian Ocean deployment.
The 118-metre-long Anzac Class frigate with her embarked helicopter flight and crew from 816 Squadron deployed in October and sailed as far west as the North Arabian Sea.
During her nine weeks at sea, Ballarat participated in Exercise MALABAR, a quadrilateral high-end training activity alongside India, Japan and the United States.
Ballarat’s Commanding Officer, Commander Antony Pisani, said he was proud of what his crew had achieved.
“HMAS Ballarat’s contribution to Exercise MALABAR provided a landmark opportunity for Australia to build shared skills with our partners from India, Japan and the United States,” Commander Pisani said.
“As four major democracies, we share a vision for a secure and stable Indo-Pacific. This has created a solid basis for cooperation, and Exercise MALABAR turns this into meaningful and tangible action.”
Following Exercise MALABAR, Ballarat sailed in company for several days with the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group, deepening the strong bonds between the Australian and US Navies.
HMAS Ballarat also conducted bilateral exercises with the Royal Malaysian and Indonesian navies during her return journey to Australia, reaffirming these close maritime partnerships and showing our shared support for a secure and stable region.
Commander Pisani said Ballarat’s crew represented Australia with pride while deployed and was excited to be home for Christmas.
“I also extend my thanks to the families, because it is with their support that Ballarat successfully completed this deployment,” he said.