Royal Australian Navy helicopter frigate HMAS Parramatta has returned to Australia after completing a three-month deployment, which included South and South East Asia.
In late February and early March, prior to COVID-19 restrictions, HMAS Parramatta visited Phuket, Thailand and Colombo, Sri Lanka.
In April, Parramatta also exercised with the United States Navy USS America Expeditionary Strike Group in the South China Sea during the deployment.
Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC, said the deployment showed Australia’s strong commitment to our partners and to a secure and prosperous region.
“Defence has, for decades, maintained a robust program of engagement with countries in and around the region, and will continue to do so,” Minister Reynolds said.
“Our Navy personnel take every opportunity to engage and exercise with allies and partners at sea.
“Interactions between partner navies enhance our interoperability, strengthen practical cooperation on maritime security and play an important role in supporting the stability and security of our region.
The Commanding Officer of HMAS Parramatta, Commander Anita Nemarich, said the opportunity to work alongside US naval vessels in the South China Sea earlier this month was invaluable.
“Maintaining security and safety at sea requires navies to be able to cooperate seamlessly. The combined activity between our two navies demonstrated our capability and a high degree of interoperability,” Commander Nemarich said.
Navy is adhering to the whole-of-government guidelines from the Department of Health in relation to COVID-19, as is the rest of the Defence organisation.
At sea, all health threats, including COVID-19, are closely monitored and appropriately managed as part of force health protection.
HMAS Parramatta departed its home port of Sydney on 3 February 2020.