Following a 10 week maintenance period, HMAS Melbourne is back in action, preparing for a Middle East deployment.
Melbourne has been conducting intensive training to refine mariner and warfighting skills, and at the mid point, a well earned break was taken in Melbourne’s home city of Melbourne. It has been six years since the last visit and there was much interest from the general public and media. It was also a great opportunity for the ship's company from Melbourne to reacquaint themselves with family and friends.
Melbournian Able Seaman Maritime Logistics Cook Kristie Bryden said her whole family was excited at the opportunity to see the ship.
"It was great to be back home and able to show off where I work, especially to my Mum, she was very excited,” she said.
During the maintenance period, Melbourne had a number of upgrades to improve her capability for the forthcoming deployment and was able to leave the dock nearly a week earlier than scheduled.
Commanding Officer Commander Bill Waters, said the teamwork and effort by all involved was tremendous.
“It’s been a hectic period where significant engineering work has occurred in Melbourne and a massive amount of training achieved by our people," he said.
"The fact we sailed ahead of schedule in a seaworthy state is a great credit to all involved.”
While Melbourne was being refurbished, the ship's company were heavily engaged in pre-deployment planning, training and logistics preparations. Personnel were qualified in boarding and weapons, action medical, refined maritime war fighting skills in simulators, and completed professional advancement courses. Concurrent to this, Melbourne’s aviation team was detached to HMAS Albatross performing a major engineering serving on Melbourne’s Seahawk helicopter ‘Reaper’.