HMAS Toowoomba Departs for Six-Month Middle East Deployment

The Royal Australian Navy’s Anzac Class frigate HMAS Toowoomba (FFH 156) has departed from her home port of Fleet Base West in Rockingham, Western Australia on Jan. 13 for a six-month deployment to the Middle East.

The deployment is part of Operation MANITOU, the Australian Defence Force (ADF)’s contribution to support international efforts to promote maritime security and stability in the Middle East Region. Toowoomba is the 68th rotation of a RAN ship to the region since 1990.

While deployed, Toowoomba will play an important role in the multi-national Combined Maritime Force (CMF) that operates in the area, and will form an integral part of the 33-nation CMF in its mission to promote maritime security, stability and prosperity in the Middle East Region.

Attending the farewell, Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said Toowoomba and its 190 sailors would support Australia’s safe and open access to the region, and reaffirm our commitment to freedom of navigation.

“This highly capable vessel will focus on promoting maritime security, stability and prosperity in the Middle East by supporting counter‑terrorism, preventing piracy, and freedom of navigation,” Minister Reynolds said. “The importance of this deployment cannot be overstated in the Middle East and the Indian Ocean Region and is essential to the security of our nation and our economy.”

Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Michael Noonan AO said Toowoomba’s Ship’s Company were ready for the mission following 12 months of preparation.

“Commander Mitchell Livingstone and his crew have worked tirelessly to prepare for this deployment, and will form an integral part of the multi-national Combined Maritime Force and International Maritime Security Construct,” Vice Admiral Noonan said. “We ask a lot of the men and women of Toowoomba who leave their families and friends for this deployment, but we also ask as much from those they leave behind”.

HMAS Toowoomba’s Commanding Officer, Commander Mitchell Livingstone, said his ship’s company was ready for the task ahead.

“Everyone in Toowoomba has worked very hard over the past 12 months to get to this high state of readiness,” Commander Livingstone said. “This dedication to the job and overall professionalism gives me great confidence in our ability to rise to any occasion we face over the next six months.”

Toowoomba is scheduled to return to Fleet Base West in July 2020.

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