Royal Australian Navy decommissioned its Durance-class multi-product replenishment oiler, HMAS Success (OR 304) during a ceremony at her homeport at Sydney’s Garden Island on Saturday.
Success – dubbed the ‘Battle Tanker’ – has been a vital part of Navy’s capability over the past 33 years and was the longest serving ship in Navy’s Fleet.
The 157 metre-long Durance Class Replenishment Oiler was the last major vessel built at Cockatoo Island in Sydney and was the biggest ship in Navy’s Fleet at the time she was commissioned in 1986.
Over more than three decades she sailed more than a million nautical miles and completed almost 3500 replenishments at sea around the world. She earned battle honours for her service during the Gulf War in 1991 and East Timor in 1999, and also participated in a record 11 Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercises and the search for the missing Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370.
Despite her age, Success maintained a high tempo right to the end, deploying twice since May last year and returning from a four month overseas deployment just weeks before her service life came to an end.
The 23rd and final Commanding Officer of HMAS Success, Captain Darren Grogan, said lowering the ship’s Australian White Ensign for the final time closed a significant chapter in Navy’s history.
Success will now make way for new replenishment ship NUSHIP Supply (II), which was launched in Ferrol, Spain last November.