Thursday, December 30, 2010


HMAS Stuart
HMAS Stuart
Royal Australian Navy ship HMAS Stuart sailed for the Middle East Area of Operations today, where she will relieve HMAS Melbourne on Operation Slipper. This is the fourth time that Stuart has been deployed to the Gulf and the Navy’s twenty-fifth rotation since September 2001.
Embarked with a Ship’s Company of approximately 190 men and women, Stuart was farewelled by the Minister for Defence Science and Personnel and the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, the Hon Mr Warren Snowdon MP, the Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Russ Crane AOCSMRAN and the Commander Australian Fleet Rear Admiral Steve Gilmore, AMCSCRAN and family and friends.

“The work that the men and women embarked on Stuart is vital in strengthening maritime security in the Gulf of Aden and the environment around the Horn of Africa. I have no doubt that Stuart’s Ship’s Company will rise to the challenge and continue the good work of her forbears,” Mr Snowdon said.
“The thoughts and best wishes of the Nation are with Stuart as she sails to undertake this important task.”
While deployed, Stuart will conduct maritime interdiction and counter-piracy operations, which will see her provide a deterrent presence and escort for merchant ships in the maritime corridor of the Gulf of Aden. She will also track and report on piracy activities.
“My Ship’s Company are looking forward to this deployment following a demanding, yet very rewarding intensive training period. It is a great honour to be undertaking this important role on behalf of the Australian people,” said Commanding Officer Stuart, Commander Brett Sonter.
“The prolonged period of absence will be made easier knowing that we have the support of our families and friends. This support to date, combined with the training we have been given, ensures that we are extremely well placed to succeed in our mission.”
Stuart participated in a pre-deployment Mission Readiness assessment in November which followed months of concentrated work-up training aimed at preparing the ship for operational deployment.

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