HMAS Bal­larat crew farewelled for duty in South-East Asia

Southern Telegraph - - Telegraph News - Ai­den Boy­ham

Fam­i­lies and friends gath­ered at Fleet Base West on Gar­den Is­land last week to farewell the crew of HMAS Bal­larat as they em­barked on a four-month de­ploy­ment through South-East Asia.

HMAS Bal­larat’s de­ploy­ment will see her crew take part in ex­er­cises Ber­sama Shield and Austhai, as well as the In­ter­na­tional Mar­itime Expo in Sin­ga­pore and the In­ter­na­tional Mar­itime Re­view, held in con- junc­tion with the Re­pub­lic of Sin­ga­pore Navy’s 50th an­niver­sary.

Com­mand­ing of­fi­cer Cdr David Lan­don said Bal­larat’s jour­ney was an op­por­tu­nity to strengthen in­ter­na­tional re­la­tions. “This de­ploy­ment will pro­vide a strong foun­da­tion for Bal­larat’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in Tal­is­man Sabre 2017, which will be the fi­nal ex­er­cise of the de­ploy­ment be­fore re­turn­ing to Fleet Base West,” Cdr Lan­don said.

Since fin­ish­ing anti-mis­sile de­fence up­grades in 2016, HMAS Bal­larat has com­pleted readi­ness as­sess­ments and ex­er­cises Rimpac and North­ern Shield as well as bor­der-pro­tec­tion du­ties as­signed to Op­er­a­tion Res­o­lute.

Dur­ing pa­trols on Res­o­lute, the crew on HMAS Bal­larat ob­served the Co­cos Keel­ing Is­lands group, the First World War en­gage­ment ground of HMAS Sydney and SMS Em­den and car­ried out a lo­gis­tics visit to Christ­mas Is­land.

A quick trip back to Gar­den Is­land pro­vided 10 days of prepa­ra­tions be­fore sail­ing again.

Pic­ture: ABIS Richard Cordell

Fam­ily and friends farewelled HMAS Bal­larat from Fleet Base West on Gar­den Is­land last Tues­day.

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