After deploying in July to conduct border protection operations in Australia’s northern waters, HMAS Huon returned home to HMAS Waterhen on 2 October. Family and friends warmly welcomed home the Mine Hunter Coastal after a successful three month deployment - her second in support of Operation RESOLUTE in 2015.
During her deployment Huon patrolled well known fishing areas to prevent illegal incursions while working hard to conduct mine warfare exercises and training to maintain her core warfare skills. During the deployment Huon was tasked to utilise this unique skill set in support of Operation RESOLUTE, disposing of historical ordnance and conduct detailed seabed searches.
Halfway through the deployment, she was tasked to dispose of unexploded ordnance from the Quail Island Air Weapons Range which was used for live air dropped munition training from post the Second World War until 1979. This event was the highlight for Huon’s Diving Officer, Lieutenant Samuel Mairs.
"The range, which includes Quail, Bare Sands and Djajalbit Islands and the surrounding waters is currently undergoing an unexploded ordnance remediation program," he said.
"We were tasked to assist a specialist unexploded ordnance contractor with the final remediation efforts in order for the land to be handed over to traditional owners," Lieutenant Mairs said
"Huon’s Clearance Diver and embarked Clearance Diver Transit Security Element members used our specialist skills to dispose of the ordnance located underwater in the area surrounding Bare Sands Island."
Huon made her second visit to Dili, East Timor in twelve months to further foster friendship with our close neighbour. During the visit, Huon hosted several members of the Timor Leste Defence Force on a sea training day, conducted ship tours, attended commemoration ceremonies for Falintil Day and made repairs and donations to a local orphanage - a highlight for Able Seaman Communication and Information Systems Khy Hentschel.
"This is my second Operation RESOLUTE deployment since serving in HMAS Sydney in 2014," Able Seaman Hentschel said
"I thoroughly enjoyed our visit to the Missionary Dominican Sisters of Rosary Dominican Orphanage and seeing first hand the positive contribution ship’s company made.
"I am very happy to be home and am grateful so many of my family members and friends could come and welcome me back."
After a high tempo 12 month period, Huon will enter an extended maintenance period for the remainder of 2015.
Imagery is available on the Navy Image Library at http://images.navy.gov.au/S20152779.