The Royal Australian Navy’s Anzac Class frigate HMAS Toowoomba (FFH 156) have arrived in Bahrain and commenced operations in the Middle East under Operation MANITOU on Jan. 31.
Operation MANITOU is the Australian Defence Force (ADF)’s contribution to support international efforts to promote maritime security and stability in the Middle East Region. This will be the Royal Australian Navy’s 68th deployment to the Middle East Region since 1990 and the sixth mission for HMAS Toowoomba.
The frigate, and her ship’s company of around 190 personnel, will also support the International Maritime Security Construct (IMSC) in its mission to ensure freedom of navigation through the Strait of Hormuz and continue Australia’s longstanding effort with the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF).
On her way to Bahrain, HMAS Toowoomba conducted a transit of the Strait of Hormuz with the United Kingdom Royal Navy Type 45 destroyer HMS Defender.
Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said HMAS Toowoomba would play a vital role alongside coalition partners and perform key roles such as counter-terrorism, preventing piracy and ensuring freedom of navigation.
“Under the International Maritime Security Construct, HMAS Toowoomba will work with a range of international partners to monitor and deter destabilising activity and support the safe passage of commercial and civilian shipping in the Middle East region,” Minister Reynolds said.
“HMAS Toowoomba will also support the Combined Maritime Forces through Combined Task Force 150 (CTF 150), which Australia currently commands. The Combined Maritime Forces is an enduring multinational taskforce of 33 nations committed to disrupting terrorist organisations and illegal activities in the maritime domain and promoting stability in the region. The crew are well-prepared for their mission and will serve Australia’s interests with distinction, and I thank the families and friends of those on board Toowoomba for their continued support.”
Commander of Combined Task Force 150, Commodore Ray Leggatt, said Toowoomba’s professional and motivated crew is looking forward to working in direct support of CTF 150.
“Royal Australian Navy vessels have a successful history working with CTF 150 on previous deployments and I am confident that this deployment will be no different,” Commodore Leggatt said.
On Jan. 13, Toowoomba departed from her home port of Fleet Base West in Rockingham, Western Australia for the six-month Middle East deployment. She is scheduled to return to Fleet Base West in July 2020.