HMAS Melbourne has departed the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) area of operations after a successful six-month deployment. The ship is the Royal Australian Navy’s 28th vessel to patrol the region since 2001.

Melbourneheads home to Fleet Base East in Sydney, Australia, after conducting maritime security patrols, counter-piracy and anti-smuggling operations from the Red and Arabian Seas to the Gulfs of Aden, Oman, Aqaba and the Straits of Hormuz and Bab-al-Mandeb.

Commanding Officer of HMAS Melbourne, Commander Richard Boulton, said Melbourne’s crew have done themselves, the Navy and Australia proud, stating:

“The men and women of Melbourne have given the mission everything they’ve got; their performance has earned the ship an outstanding reputation in the region.  It is certain to be both a proud and emotional homecoming as the ship’s company lines the upper decks when we sail into Sydney harbour and reunite with loved ones.”

 Deputy Commander, Combined Maritime Forces, Commodore Simon Ancona thanked HMAS Melbourne for her contribution.

“HMAS Melbournehas played a crucial role in helping CMF achieve its objectives of maintaining regional maritime security, defending against violent extremists, countering piracy and setting the conditions for stability in the region for free and legitimate commerce.  We wish her a safe trip home and some well earned leave.”

 HMAS Anzac has taken over maritime security operations from Melbourne and joined CMF on 31 July 2012.