HMAS Darwin has completed her highly successful deployment to the Middle East in support of Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) and is now heading home to Sydney.
Deployed under tasking to CMF’s Combined Task Force 150 (CTF-150) HMAS Darwin and her Ship’s Company seized narcotics with a street value of more than USD 1.9 billion during their five month long deployment.
Over this period, HMAS Darwin had been supporting CTF-150 in the mission to promote maritime security and to counter terrorist acts and related illegal activities. Darwin has been the backbone of CTF-150 operations and achieved remarkable success. During a series of often long and difficult boarding operations they seized in excess of twelve metric tonnes of narcotics and hold the record for the largest ever single seizure of heroin (1,032 kg) in CMF’s history.
During the deployment, Darwin has also undertaken a number of Safety Of Life At Sea (SOLAS) actions including the rescue of eleven fishermen and two children, found adrift off the coast of Pakistan in March after their vessel had sunk five days earlier. The ship also conducted a delicate medivac operation of a French fisherman who had suffered a heart attack.
HMAS Darwin’s Commanding Officer, Commander Terry Morrison, is extremely proud of the efforts of his crew and notes that their success sets a high bar for other ships following in their footsteps.
He said: “This team of highly-trained sailors has performed incredibly well in everything from search and rescue operations, to making significant drug interdictions that will effectively impact funding for extremist and terrorist organisations. We have followed in the wake of a long succession of Australian and other CMF warships and we wish the crew of HMAS Toowoomba a very successful deployment.”
HMAS Darwin is the 57th Australian warship to deploy to the Middle East since the first Gulf War in 1990.