The HMAS Toowoomba is heading home after a highly successful tour of duty in the Middle East conducting operations under Operation SLIPPER.
The broad range of capabilities and the inherent flexibility of the Anzac Class frigate have been admirably demonstrated during this eventful six month operational deployment.
Most notably, Toowoomba disrupted Somali pirates off the Horn of Africa, as part of international counter-piracy operations in the region. One such incident was caught on camera during a dramatic confrontation between suspected pirates and the Royal Australian Navy.
Toowoomba also made an important contribution in Maritime Security and Counter-Terrorist Operations in the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea. Australian boarding parties searched suspect vessels for illegal cargo, including drugs and weapons.
As Toowoomba prepared to leave the Middle East Area of Operations, she spent some time in company with one of the many coalition ships on patrol in the region. The US Navy aircraft carrier, USS Nimitz, provided Toowoomba with fuel and supplies for her homeward journey.
“This has certainly been an eventful trip,” Toowoomba’s Commanding Officer, Commander Ivan Ingham said. “All Australians can be very proud of what their Navy’s people have achieved here”.
HMAS Toowoomba is expected back in her home port of HMAS Stirling.
Operation SLIPPER is Australia’s military contribution to international campaigns against terrorism, countering piracy in the Gulf of Aden, and maritime security.
Under this operation, our forces contribute to the efforts of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) – led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, which seeks to bring security, stability and prosperity to the country and aims at preventing Afghanistan again becoming a safe haven for international terrorists, and the United States-led International Coalition Against Terrorism (ICAT) efforts in the broader Middle East.
Pic: HMAS Toowoomba (FFH 156)