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HMAS Toowoomba departs for Middle East

HMAS Toowoomba departs Fleet Base West for a six-month deployment to the Middle East.

The Royal Australian Navy Anzac-class frigate HMAS Toowoomba has departed her home port of Fleet Base West in Western Australia for a six-month deployment to the Middle East.

Toowoomba and her crew of 180 men and women will relieve HMAS Anzac, which has been in the Middle East for the past six months.

Toowoomba’s deployment marks the 30th rotation of RAN ships in support of coalition maritime security operations in the Middle East since September 2001.

Navy’s Commander Australian Surface Forces, Commodore Jonathan Mead, wished the ship’s company a safe and successful deployment.

“You have just enjoyed Christmas at home with your families, and have had time to reflect on what’s important to you. Now it’s time to focus on the task of conducting a safe and successful deployment.

“You have worked hard to get here and your devotion to duty is indisputable. You will be in our hearts and minds while you are away serving this great nation,” Commodore Mead said.

Toowoomba’s Commanding Officer, Commander Brendon Zilko, praised the efforts of his crew while preparing for the deployment.

“I am deeply proud of the dedication and commitment displayed by this crew during our preparation, which has spanned the past six months. There is no doubt in my mind that we are 100 per cent mission ready and focused on getting the job done,” he said.

Toowoomba is scheduled to return home to Fleet Base West in June 2013.