HMAS Newcastle returns from Middle East mission

The Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) Adelaide-class guided-missile frigate, HMAS Newcastle returned to her home port of Fleet Base East, Garden Island, Sydney, on Dec. 3 following a six-month deployment to the Middle East region.

Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, welcomed 230 members of the ship’s company home from the deployment, which included counter-terrorism and counter-piracy patrols as part of the Combined Maritime Forces and a two-week attachment with the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet in the Arabian Gulf.

Minister Payne said Newcastle’s company had continued Australia’s reputation for professionalism and cooperation with international partners. “Newcastle has maintained Australia’s high standing in the Combined Maritime Forces, proving our ongoing commitment to the security of the Middle East region,” Minister Payne said.

“The Royal Australian Navy has again proven a potent and capable asset in the fight against terrorist operations and the illegal activities that fund them.

This deployment included the first simultaneous operation of manned and unmanned aircraft in Operation Manitou, with Newcastle’s MH-60R Seahawk helicopter and ScanEagle Unmanned Aerial System employed on a concurrent surface search tasking in the Gulf of Oman.

“The cooperative employment of both aviation platforms provided a strong deterrence against illegal activity.”

The arrival home of the Newcastle signified the last deployment of an Adelaide-class guided missile frigate to the region, with future rotations to be fulfilled by upgraded Anzac-class helicopter frigates.

Commanding Officer HMAS Newcastle, Commander Mark Sirois, said he was proud of the ship’s achievements.

“The men and women in Newcastle have shown determination and diligence in each and every task, through a variety of maritime security activities, they have demonstrated enthusiasm and professionalism and upheld the finest traditions of the Royal Australian Navy,” he said.

“It’s not easy to be away from family and friends for any length of time, and I thank all of our families for their ongoing support.”

The arrival signified the last deployment of an Adelaide class guided missile frigate to the region with future rotations to be fulfilled by upgraded Anzac class helicopter frigates.

HMAS Newcastle

HMAS Newcastle is one of four Adelaide-class Guided Missile Frigates (FFG) in service with the Royal Australian Navy. The Adelaide Class is based on the U.S. Navy’s Oliver Hazard Perry design.

The vessel with a length of 138.1 m and width of 14.3 m is manned by a crew of 184. The displacement of the Newcastle is 4,200 tons.

Newcastle is the youngest of the four frigates and was constructed in Williamstown, Victoria with all previous class modifications incorporated.

Newcastle is a long range escort vessel, capable of air defence, surface and undersea warfare, surveillance, reconnaissance and interdiction. The ship can counter simultaneous threats from aircraft, surface vessels and submarines.

Australian Department of Defence

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