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Department of Defence
Media Release


02/07/2007 MECC 190/07




The Royal Australian Navy Anzac Class Frigate HMAS Toowoomba arrived home today, following a six-month deployment to the Northern Persian Gulf. Her ship’s company of 183 men and women were greeted by the Minister Assisting the Minister of Defence, Mr Bruce Billson, the Commander Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Dayvd Thomas AM CSC, RAN, and family and friends.

Toowoomba was stationed in the Northern Persian Gulf as part of Operation Catalyst, Australia’s commitment to the reconstruction and rehabilitation of Iraq, from January to July of this year.

 “I would like to pay tribute to the crew of Toowoomba for their professional approach to this deployment. The crew has worked exceptional hard over the last six months and are deserving of rest and time with their family and friends.  The ship’s company represented their nation with distinction and carried on the fine work of the Royal Australian Navy in the region,” Commanding Officer of HMAS Toowoomba, Commander Jaimie Hatcher said. 

Toowoomba contributed to the protection of Iraqi oil platforms, security boardings of all vessels proceeding to the platforms and training of the Iraqi Navy, all of which are essential to the reconstruction and rehabilitation of Iraq. 

The excited and proud families of the crew were also recognised for their ongoing support.  

 “We have missed our families and friends. What is clear is that they support what we do and are tolerant of our absence.  In some respects our families have worked harder than we have.  I take this opportunity to recognise their essential contribution to the success of HMAS Toowoomba.  Our families and friends share equally in our success and any gratitude we may receive. We are so happy to be re-united with them today,” said Commander Hatcher.

During her time in the Gulf, Toowoomba conducted 65 boarding and security patrols, over three hundred boat evolutions, 16 Replenishments at Sea and Vertical Replenishments, 230 flying hours by its embarked Navy Seahawk helicopter and 470 investigative queries of merchant vessels. 

Toowoomba was away for 179 days, with 146 spent at sea. During this period one member became a father for the first time, and the ship received 2780 kilograms of mail from family and friends.


Media contact: Defence Media Liaison (02) 6265 3343 or (0408) 498 664


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Issued by Ministerial and Executive Coordination and Communication,
Department of Defence,
Canberra, ACT
Phone: 02 6127 1999 Fax: 02 6265 6946
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