Farncomb returns to Fleet Base West after busy domestic deployment

This article has photo gallery This article has a video attachmentPublished on LEUT Gary McHugh (author), POIS James Whittle (photographer)

Location(s): Fleet Base West, WA

Topic(s): HMAS Farncomb (S74), Fleet Certification Period

HMAS Farncomb prepares to come alongside Diamantina Pier upon her return to Fleet Base West, WA. (photo: POIS James Whittle)
HMAS Farncomb prepares to come alongside Diamantina Pier upon her return to Fleet Base West, WA.

HMAS Farncomb returned to her homeport of Fleet Base West earlier this month, after a five-week deployment to the east coast of Australia.

Coming alongside Diamantina Wharf, a number of the submarine’s contingent of embarked trainees threw lines across under the watchful eye of the Casing Party officer-in-charge.

Once all lines were secured and the gangway across, the submarine’s Commanding Officer Commander Michael Power came ashore, where he was met by Commander Submarine Force Captain Doug Theobald and Deputy Commander Submarine Force Commander Chris Forward.

Commander Power said it had been an extremely busy and rewarding deployment for his crew, the highlight of which was participation in Fleet Certification Period 2020 (FCP20).

“During the Fleet Certification Period, which involved a significant number of ships, submarines and aircraft, Farncomb was mainly operating in the Bass Strait which is a complex and busy environment,” he said.

“Essentially, Farncomb was involved in a series of maritime warfare scenarios that tested the crews of the surface ships and the submarines, and provided invaluable training for my ship’s company.”

Commander Power said it was important that exercises such as FCP20 involved a sub-surface component as it allowed exercise planners to inject a higher level of realism into the scenarios.

“For many of the crew this was the first time exercising with Navy’s new capabilities, such as Hobart, Canberra and the MH-60R aircraft, as well as the other ships participating in FCP20, which all presented a great learning opportunity for us,” he said.

“Submarines provide a ‘strategic deterrent’ for the Royal Australian Navy, which means that due to the covert nature of submarine operations it’s difficult for adversaries to know exactly where we are operating.

“The Collins Class Submarine has a very lethal and modern weapon system and that gives us an excellent deterrent - also, the endurance of the Collins Class Submarine is exceptional, which provides significant force-projection without the need to re-supply or re-fuel.”

Fleet Base West is home to Navy’s six Collins Class Submarines, and is situated on Garden Island near the City of Rockingham south of Perth.

Imagery is available on the Navy Image Library: https://images.navy.gov.au/S20201204.