Larrakia departs Darwin for South East Asian deployment

Published on LEUT Gary McHugh (author), LSIS Yuri Ramsey (photographer)

Location(s): HMAS Coonawarra

Attack Four personnel currently embarked in HMAS Larrakia, (from front to rear of image) Able Seaman Electronic Technician James McFarlane, Petty Officer Naval Police Coxswain Tony Leslie, Commanding Officer Lieutenant Commander David McPherson, Executive Officer Lieutenant (LEUT) Kerensa Benson, Navigator LEUT Kent McKeon and LEUT Rebecca Wheldrake, on the bridge of Larrakia during her departure from HMAS Coonawarra for a South East Asia Deployment and Exercise Lumbas 2014. (photo: LSIS Yuri Ramsey)
Attack Four personnel currently embarked in HMAS Larrakia, (from front to rear of image) Able Seaman Electronic Technician James McFarlane, Petty Officer Naval Police Coxswain Tony Leslie, Commanding Officer Lieutenant Commander David McPherson, Executive Officer Lieutenant (LEUT) Kerensa Benson, Navigator LEUT Kent McKeon and LEUT Rebecca Wheldrake, on the bridge of Larrakia during her departure from HMAS Coonawarra for a South East Asia Deployment and Exercise Lumbas 2014.

After a hectic 24 hours storing and refuelling for the first leg of a six-week South East Asian deployment, HMAS Larrakia slipped out of Darwin Naval Base on September 16.
 
Attack 4 Commanding Officer, embarked in Larrakia, Lieutenant Commander David McPherson said his crew was looking forward to not only the challenges an overseas deployment presents, but also to representing Australia throughout the region.

Seaman Boatswain's Mate Gareth Baker from Attack Four, currently embarked in HMAS Larrakia, heaves in lines as Larrakia departs HMAS Coonawarra for a South East Asia Deployment and Exercise Lumbas 2014.

Seaman Boatswain's Mate Gareth Baker from Attack Four, currently embarked in HMAS Larrakia, heaves in lines as Larrakia departs HMAS Coonawarra for a South East Asia Deployment and Exercise Lumbas 2014.


 
“This is a great opportunity to demonstrate Navy’s interoperability skills with other regional navies, and to show what an Armidale Class Patrol Boat is capable of,” he said.
 
“It’s also a great chance for my crew to visit ports they’ve never been to before.
 
“Some of the major highlights of the deployment will be our participation in Exercise LUMBAS, as well as the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Leyte Gulf in the Phillipines.”
 
The Leyte Gulf engagement, which occurred in late 1944, was one of the largest naval engagements of the conflict, and is generally regarded as a pivotal turning point in the battle for supremacy in the region.
 
It involved units from the Royal Australian Navy and the United States Navy in a combined assault against the Imperial Japanese Navy.
 
As well as visiting the Phillipines, Larrakia will also conduct port visits in other regional countries before returning to Darwin in late October.

Imagery is available on the Navy Image Library at http://images.navy.gov.au/S20142549.