HMAS Ballarat and her ship’s company of 190 officers and sailors have departed Fleet Base West at Garden Island, Western Australia, for maritime security operations as part of Operation Manitou in the Middle East.
The Minister for Defence, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, said Ballarat would work as part of the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), an international coalition to interrupt the illegal drug trade that funds terrorism.
“For 28 years, Australian warships have made significant contributions to peace and security in the region,” Minister Pyne said.
“Australia has a long-standing commitment to the Combined Maritime Forces in the Middle East region, and Ballaratis the latest Royal Australian Navy vessel committed to this fight against terrorist operations.”
Assistant Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon David Fawcett, and Commander Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Jonathan Mead, joined family and friends to farewell the ship and loved ones for their nine-month deployment to Operation Manitou.
Senator Fawcett highlighted the commitment of the men and women of Ballarat and the Royal Australian Navy’s presence in the Middle East region.
“For decades, the men and women of the Royal Australian Navy have regularly seized drugs and other illegal cargoes from the high seas. Ballarat will protect Australia’s national interests abroad and further advance Australia’s high standing with our Allies, together making a significant difference to global security,” Senator Fawcett said.
“This will be the ship’s second deployment to the Middle East and they will carry forward a considerable legacy. I wish them well as they work to make the world safer and more stable.”