Santa makes a surprise visit to Garden Island as families and friends farewell HMAS Success

Published on Ms Natalie Staples (author), LSIS Peter Thompson (photographer)

Location(s): Fleet Base East

Children of the Gilford family visit Santa during his visit to Fleet Base East, Sydney. (photo: LSIS Peter Thompson)
Children of the Gilford family visit Santa during his visit to Fleet Base East, Sydney.

After months of preparation, HMAS Success departed Garden Island, Sydney this week for a six-month deployment to the Middle East Region where Navy's auxiliary oiler will provide logistic support for coalition forces as part of Operation MANITOU.
 
Santa made a surprise visit to the ceremony, joining Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells and Commander Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Stuart Mayer, family and friends on the wharf to farewell the ship, which will spend Christmas on operations.
 
Commanding Officer Success Captain Justin Jones said while his ship's focus will be different from Navy's frigates previously deployed on MANITOU, their contribution to global security will be just as important.
 
“Over the next few months, Success will conduct essential maritime support, underway and vertical replenishment operations as part of the Australian Defence Force contribution to maritime security in the region,” Captain Jones said.
 
“As part of a broader taskforce, we will deliver fuel and stores to various units, enabling them to remain at sea on the job.
 
“The ship’s company of 235 has worked hard to prepare for this mission and is looking forward to Success once again supporting operations in the Middle East Region,” Captain Jones said.
 
“The ship has already had a big year supporting Operation SOUTHERN INDIAN OCEAN and Exercise RIMPAC.
 
"Our family and friends’ support has been important in keeping us focused on the tasks for which we have trained. We will miss them dearly while we are away and look forward to celebrating with them once our job is done,” he said.

Family and friends of HMAS Success line the wharf at Fleet Base East, Sydney to farewell the ship and her crew as they sailed for a six-month deployment to the Middle East Region as part of Operation MANITOU.

Family and friends of HMAS Success line the wharf at Fleet Base East, Sydney to farewell the ship and her crew as they sailed for a six-month deployment to the Middle East Region as part of Operation MANITOU.


Seaman Boatswain’s Mate Rion Dunn said he was excited by the prospect of deploying to the Middle East Region.
 
“I’ve only been in the Navy for a year and it was awesome to see everyone here to send us off. I’m looking forward to putting my training into practice,” Seaman Dunn said.
 
This is Success’s second deployment and the 59th rotation of a Royal Australian Navy fleet unit to the region since the first Gulf War in 1990. Success will relieve Anzac class frigate HMAS Toowoomba, which will return shortly before Christmas.

Imagery is available on the Navy Image Library at http://images.navy.gov.au/S20143477.