Following an extremely busy and challenging ten weeks alongside Fleet Base West, HMAS Stuart returned to Sydney yesterday. With the sounds of a lone piper playing on the Chaff Deck, the ‘Tartan Terror’ glided into Fleet Base East and was met by family and friends as well as the Commander Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Tim Barrett.
The Frigate, which had spent a substantial period on the west coast, was brought out of a 18-month Extended Readiness period by the previous crew of HMAS Anzac, who had recently returned from operational deployment (Operation SLIPPER Rotation 29), in conjunction with the Frigate Support Team (FFHST).
Bringing the dormant platform to an operational unit was a challenge, which Commander Jason Hunter, said was achieved in a systematic and diligent manner.
“Before we could sail, Material Condition Assessments had to be conducted on all compartments and equipment onboard Stuart to ensure that she was Seaworthy to sail to Fleet Base East. We received significant assistance from the FFHST, Fleet Support Unit (FSU) Perth provided manpower, while key Engineering Division personnel oversaw the transition,” said Commander Hunter.
“The transfer of all material, equipment and personnel was a big job, which was achieved thanks to the hard work and efforts of my Ship’s Company, the FFHST and numerous external support organisations. I am blessed with a crew who can make the seemingly impossible possible.”
Commander Hunter, who assumed Command of Stuart on 10 May 2013 said the hull swap represents the second time his crew have carried out a cross ship.
“This hull swap represents the second time my ship’s company have carried out the innovative cross ship tasking in an Major Fleet Unit in the last eighteen months. The former Ship’s Company of HMAS Stuart conducted a hull swap to HMAS Anzac in September 2011, prior to work-up and an operational deployment to the Middle East Area of Operations,” he said.
“Both Anzac and Stuart have proud traditions going back many years and it is a privilege to be bring the Tartan Terror back into operational service,” said Commander Hunter.
Stuart will commence Sea Qualifying Trials shortly prior to conducting a Unit Readiness work-up. On completion she will being participating in the International Fleet Review.
Imagery is available on the Royal Australian Navy Media Library at http://images.navy.gov.au/S20130732.