HMAS Melbourne decommissions, era of the FFG ends

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Ryan Zerbe (author), LAC John Solomon (photographer), LCPL Brodie Cross (photographer), LACW Jacqueline Forrester (photographer), PTE Rodrigo Villablanca (photographer), SIG Robert Whitmore (photographer)

Location(s): Fleet Base East, Sydney

Topic(s): HMAS Melbourne (F05), Decommissioning

HMAS Melbourne's ship's company stand at attention as Commanding Officer, Commander Marcus Buttler, RAN, carries the ship's Australian White Ensign during the ship's decommissioning ceremony at Fleet Base East, Sydney. (photo: LAC John Solomon)
HMAS Melbourne's ship's company stand at attention as Commanding Officer, Commander Marcus Buttler, RAN, carries the ship's Australian White Ensign during the ship's decommissioning ceremony at Fleet Base East, Sydney.

The Royal Australian Navy has celebrated the completion of 27 years of service by HMAS Melbourne, the last of her class. 

The 138 metre long Adelaide class guided missile frigate (FFG) - the last remaining of six built for Navy - was decommissioned at her home port at Fleet Base East, Garden Island in Sydney.

Melbourne’s final Commanding Officer, Commander Marcus Buttler said his ship’s company were honoured to be the last crew to serve in Melbourne and pleased the occasion could be shared with many former ship’s company, who attended the decommissioning ceremony.

“There are thousands of people who have called this ship home over the past 27 years and most of our people don’t know a time in the Navy without HMAS Melbourne and the FFGs in the Fleet,” Commander Buttler said. 

“I am so proud of the men and women of HMAS Melbourne for sustaining a high tempo at sea right to the end and contributing to her outstanding legacy.”

“It is also a sad day as we see the end of almost forty years of the Adelaide class frigate which has been one of the most effective maritime warfighting platforms ever built,” Commander Buttler said. 

Royal Australian Navy Communication and Information Systems sailors, L-R, Chief Petty Officer Adrian Trevis; Able Seaman Matilda Traill; and Able Seaman Lance Pompey display HMAS Melbourne's Australian White Ensign for the final time, during the ship's decommissioning ceremony at Fleet Base East, Sydney.

Royal Australian Navy Communication and Information Systems sailors, L-R, Chief Petty Officer Adrian Trevis; Able Seaman Matilda Traill; and Able Seaman Lance Pompey display HMAS Melbourne's Australian White Ensign for the final time, during the ship's decommissioning ceremony at Fleet Base East, Sydney.

Since commissioning in 1992, Melbourne had steamed more than 900,000 nautical miles, deployed on operations to the Middle East eight times and earning battle honours for service in East Timor, the Persian Gulf and Middle East. 

She spent most of 2018 and 2019 deployed overseas, including a four month deployment through north Asia earlier this year where she conducted international maritime surveillance operations to enforce sanctions against North Korea.

A video of the decommissioning ceremony can be viewed on the Navy Facebook Page.