HMAS Melbourne (III) has returned to her homeport of Sydney this week, marking the end of her final voyage.
Melbourne berthed alongside Fleet Base East at Garden Island with her decommissioning pennant and battle ensign flying one last time.
A number of the ship’s former Commanding Officers were aboard for her final return to port.
Melbourne’s current Commanding Officer, Commander Marcus Buttler said bringing the 138-metre-long warship home for the last time left him with mixed emotions.
“There was definitely a stinging feeling knowing that this was the moment when Melbourne’s engines would shut down for the final time and her seagoing life was over,” Commander Buttler said.
“At the same time, it was the end of an amazing journey for a fantastic ship with an outstanding crew and I felt immensely proud to be Melbourne’s last Commanding Officer.”
“HMAS Melbourne has kept up a high tempo right to the end which is a testament to the love this crew has for her.”
HMAS Melbourne was commissioned in 1992 and has sailed more than 900,000 nautical miles throughout her service life.
Leading Seaman Boatswains Mate Adam Hamburger said being part of Melbourne’s final voyage was extremely satisfying after being a member of ship’s company for the past seven years.
“I’ve served in Melbourne for over a third of my 20-year career, so to be part of her final crew, representing the ship and everything she has achieved is a special experience,” Leading Seaman Hamburger said.
“Thousands of people have served in this ship and I’m proud of our own contributions to her legacy,” he said.
HMAS Melbourne deployed on operations in the Solomon Islands, the South and East China seas and to the Middle East eight times. She had earned battle honours for service in East Timor and the Persian Gulf.
Imagery is available on the Navy Image Gallery: http://images.navy.gov.au/S20192386