The crew of HMAS Launceston celebrated the vessel’s twelfth birthday in a manner that testified to the work ethic of the Royal Australian Navy’s patrol boats: at sea, on operation, protecting Australia’s northern maritime borders.
Commanding Officer, Commander Matthew Richardson, said the crew and members of the Transit Security Element (TSE) held a “small but important ceremony” to mark the occasion.
“This event is to honour the service and sacrifice of every crew member, and their families, who has served in Launceston in the pursuit of Australia's interests,” he said.
Launceston has tirelessly served her country since commissioning at Beauty Point in Tasmania on 22 September 2007.
Now based in Darwin along with 11 other patrol boats, Launceston has sailed over 430,000 nautical miles, which is equivalent to almost 20 times around the equator and more than a trip to the moon and back.
And while her primary role has been border protection on Operation RESOLUTE, Launceston has also worked with neighbouring navies, including Indonesia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea and Timor-Leste, to improve security and stability in the region.
The event was not lost on Able Seaman Maritime Logistics - Supply Chain Michaelyn Waia, one of the newest members of the Launceston crew.
“It is great to be part of the hard work our patrol boats do at sea and it was very special to be on board for the ship's birthday,” she said.
Patrols boats are a primary enabler of Operation RESOLUTE, the Australian Defence Force’s contribution to the Whole-of-Government effort to protect Australia's borders and offshore maritime interests.