HMAS Anzac departed Sydney this week for a once in a lifetime deployment supporting the 100th anniversary of the ANZAC landings at Gallipoli.
Family and friends were on the wharf to farewell the 192 crew members, who will spend five months visiting ports around the globe.
Guests at the departure ceremony included Senator Arthur Sinodinas, representing the Minister for Defence, Tanya Plibersek, MP, representing the Shadow Minister for Defence, the Commander Australian Fleet Rear Admiral Stuart Mayer and the Commander Australian Surface Force Commodore Lee Goddard.
Commanding Officer HMAS Anzac Commander Belinda Wood said the ship’s company is proud to represent Australia on this significant trip.
“Today is an exciting time for Anzac as we set off for ports many Australians never get the chance to experience.
“The crew are proud to have been selected, every person has worked incredibly hard to get ready for this deployment and they’ll continue to do so. We have a demanding schedule visiting ports on three continents,” Commander Wood said.
“The pinnacle of the deployment will be spending Anzac Day in Gallipoli with STS Young Endeavour and warships from Turkey, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Canada and France.
"As the Navy’s namesake ship, we will reflect on the strong and enduring legacy of those who fought on that shore; the Western Front and throughout the world’s oceans and helped forge our national identity.
“We will also commemorate more than a century of service by Australian servicemen and women,” Commander Wood said.
“It is also appropriate that Anzac embarks on naval engagements with many other countries and continues to build on our nations place on the international stage.”
This is the second time that Anzac III will visit Gallipoli. In 2005, the ship supported the commemorations for the 90th anniversary.
The ship and her crew looked resplendent as they set sail on their departure. The Sydney detachment of the Navy Band, provided entertainment before the ship set sail, while Anzac’s embarked band detachment brought the focus back to the ship as she moved away from the wharf.
Commander Wood reflected on the impact of the crew’s absence on their loved ones, and the importance of the support shown to the crew by their families and friends.
“Anzac’s motto is ‘United We Stand’, and not a truer word could be said of the relationship between the crew of Anzac and you.
“We sail together today,” Commander Wood said.
Anzac is one of eight Anzac class frigates operated by the Royal Australian Navy and in 2014 was the third to complete the Anti-Ship Missile Defence upgrade program, which provides an enhanced sensor and weapons systems.