The mood was joyous as Perth’s ship’s company disembarked to greet their loved ones and step onto solid ground Commanding Officer Captain Lee Goddard said.
“The whole ship’s company have worked diligently on all our varied tasks over the last few months, but nothing beats returning to the hugs of those who miss us most,” he said.
As one of the units involved in the search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 for Operation SOUTHERN INDIAN OCEAN the crew searched areas of the Indian Ocean for debris.
“It was a task that the whole ship approached with diligence and respect. It also afforded us an opportunity to work with international Navies; a mission none of us will forget easily,” Captain Goddard said.
Returning home though will provide the Navy with a first in the Anti-Ship Missile Defence (ASMD) Upgrade program; the first time two ASMD upgraded Anzac Class Frigates have been alongside together when HMAS Arunta returns in the coming days she will berth near to Perth at Fleet Base West.
Both ships have undergone extensive upgrades at Henderson in Western Australia which significantly enhances the capability of the ship’s weapons and sensors systems. In addition to this a substantial maintenance package was also completed to ensure compliance with the tenets of seaworthiness.
“It is remarkable that two of the Navy’s finest frigates will be together in their home port. When you consider the overhaul of systems and the sheer scale of work completed and then cast your eye over the ships, it makes me feel immense sense of pride and I am excited about our current and future Navy,” Captain Goddard said.
Thoughts of the future though were put to the side and the focus was solely on the moment when ship’s company left the wharf with their loved ones to enjoy some quality time following their successful deployment.
Imagery is available on the Navy Image Library at http://images.navy.gov.au/S20141960.