Features
Tobruk spirit - (Centrespread)
By Michael Brooke

Volume 50, No.5, April 05, 2007
HMAS Tobruk (CMDR Brett Wolski) lived up to her motto of ‘The Faithful and the Strong’ during her successful 11-week deployment to the Middle East and South-East Asia.

The RAN’s hard-working Amphibious Heavy Lift ship returned to Fleet Base East on 19 March after successfully delivering equipment and stores to ADF deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan.

CMDR Wolski told Navy News that the deployment to the MEAO enabled Tobruk to demonstrate her capability to provide military sea lift wherever needed.

“The successful deployment comes after many months of preparation, hard work and dedication by the ship’s company,” he said.

“The crew worked exceptionally hard over the last 11 weeks and I thank them for their outstanding efforts.”

CMDR Wolski said Tobruk’s mission was to transfer military equipment and stores into the Middle East Area of Operations, which the ship’s company carried out successfully.

Tobruk delivered equipment and stores in support of the Overwatch Battlegroup in southern Iraq and the Reconstruction Task Force at Tarin Kowat in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan.

This was Tobruk’s second operational deployment to the MEAO in the past two years.

On her return voyage Tobruk visited Manila, where she embarked a Vietnam War era OV-10 Bronco aircraft, a gift from the Philippines Government to the Australian War Memorial.

CMDR Wolski said the 200 crew are now looking forward to a well-earned break as the ship enters a maintenance period.

More than 200 family and friends were at the wharf to welcome Tobruk home when she berthed at Fleet Base East.

Deployed since late December, the crew of Tobruk were thrilled and delighted to be so warmly welcomed home.

Now berthed in her homeport, Tobruk will complete a brief maintenance and respite period before getting involved in exercise Talisman Sabre, Operation Resolute and any other challenges that may arise.

HOMECOMING: ABMT Kynan Broadbent of HMAS Tobruk hugs his partner Katrina on the wharf at Fleet Base East.

Photo: ABPH Paul Berry

RETURNING: HMAS Tobruk arrives in Sydney after a deployment in the Middle East Area of Operations.

Photo: ABPH Paul Berry

GOOD TO BE BACK: The crew are all smiles as HMAS Tobruk returns to Sydney from deployment in the Middle East Area of Operations.

Photo: ABPH Paul Berry


LEAP OF JOY: ABSN Katherine Allen is happy to be back in the arms of Adrian Woodhart after a long stint at sea onboard HMAS Tobruk in the Middle East Area of Operations.

Photo: ABPH Paul Berry

LEAP OF JOY (inset): ABSN Katherine Allen is happy to be back in the arms of Adrian Woodhart after a long stint at sea onboard HMAS Tobruk in the Middle East Area of Operations.

Photo: ABPH Paul Berry

GANGWAY: HMAS Tobruk’s ship’s company walk down the gangway, greeted by the cheers and applause of family and friends.

Photo: ABPH Paul Berry

FAMILY WELCOME: SMNEWT Jacob McDonald is reunited with his sister Olivia (left) and mum Karen on his return from service on HMAS Tobruk.

Photo: ABPH Paul Berry

MODEL GIFT: CMDR Brett Wolski, Commanding Officer HMAS Tobruk (right) presents CAPT Peter Laver, Commander Flotillas, with a model of the aircraft HMAS Tobruk had shipped back from Manilla.

Photo: ABPH Paul Berry
FLAG WAVING: Sandra, Elena and Alex Wolski cheer HMAS Tobruk as it comes alongside at Fleet Base East. They are waiting to welcome home CMDR Brett Wolski.

Photo: ABPH Paul Berry
HOMECOMING: Karen, Dean and little brother Timmy Morris were on hand and happy to see MIDN Jessica Morris return home on HMAS Tobruk.

Photo: ABPH Paul Berry
CROWDS: Family and friends wait excitedly as HMAS Tobruk returns to Sydney from deployment in the Middle East Area of Operations.

Photo: ABPH Paul Berry