The Royal Australian Navy’s Collins class diesel-electric attack submarine, HMAS Rankin (SSG 78) has returned to Fleet Base West after nearly seven months away on deployment.
Rankin’s return to her home port comes after several busy months at sea, the highlight being her involvement in the multinational exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 18.
Arriving just in time for Christmas, the crew were welcomed by friends, family and representatives of the Submarine Force. Life goes on and being away for such a long period saw its fair share of personal and family milestones, with 34 birthdays occurring during the deployment, including one 50th.
Commanding Officer HMAS Rankin, Commander Gary Lawton, is familiar with Rankin. Taking command of HMAS Rankin this time in December 2017 and partaking in RIMPAC 18 rekindled memories of March 2005, when he assumed Command of Rankin in that year as well, undertaking a six month deployment which, coincidently, also included Exercise RIMPAC.
For Commander Lawton, this has been a memorable deployment and a perfect completion of his time as the Commanding Officer.
“It has been a tremendous honour to command Rankin again and be supported by such a terrific team. The ship’s company have sustained their professionalism, dedication and enthusiasm throughout a long deployment, often in demanding circumstances.”
Returning home for Able Seaman Robert ‘Bobbie’ Hancock had a slightly different focus, enabling some quality family time in the near future.
“It’s been a while since we enjoyed a simple family outing, so a picnic or two as well as some Christmas shopping is truly on the cards,” said AB Hancock.
The crew of Rankin will now spend a well-deserved Christmas break with their families before returning fully refreshed for 2019.