|HMAS WARRAMUNGA FAREWELLED
The Honourable Gary Gray AO MP has today farewelled Royal Australian Navy Anzac Class Frigate HMAS Warramunga on behalf of the Minister for Defence, the Hon. Joel Fitzgibbon, MP.
HMAS Warramunga’s Ship’s Company of 185 men and women were farewelled, in a traditional ceremony in front of family and friends as she departs for a six-month deployment to the Middle East.
Mr Gray congratulated HMAS Warramunga’s Commanding Officer, Commander Andrew Gordon, RAN, for his crew’s rigorous training program in preparation for the task.
“Warramunga is well prepared and mission ready for the important job before them. The crew are a true reflection of the commitment and dedication of the Australian Defence Force,” Mr Gray said.
“I would like to thank the families and friends of the personnel deploying to the Gulf for their ongoing support and wish those deployed on Operation SLIPPER continued success and ongoing safety.”
Warramunga will conduct maritime security operations in the Central and Southern Persian Gulf as part of Task Force 152.
Maritime security operations help develop security in the maritime environment, which promotes stability and global prosperity. These operations complement the counterterrorism and security efforts of regional nations. They also seek to disrupt violent extremists’ use of the maritime environment as a venue for attack or to transport personnel, weapons or other material.
This will be the second time that Warramunga has been deployed to the Gulf, with the frigate’s departure establishing a new chapter in the Navy’s deployments to the Middle East. HMAS Warramunga will replace HMAS Parramatta which is due to return to Fleet Base East in February 2009
Source "The Australian" newspaper
Well an end to an era. The RAN since the completion of GW 2 has always had a frigate as part of TF 158. TF 158 role is close protection of the two oil platforms that 95% of Iraq's GDP is sent off shore. TF 152 is role is to patrol the central and southern part of the gulf. Totaly different job.
Ive been a member of TF 158 and know how vital it is so we are not paying $2.50 a litre for petrol in Austraila because some more suicide boats got through again and actual did the job properly and succeed in blowing the platforms up.I hope the Iraqi navy is up to the task.
It was a boring job 99% of the time though
If anybody if unsure of what I am refering to when I said "because some more suicide boats got through again and actual did the job properly" read on
Suicide bombing attack claims first Coast Guardsman since Vietnam War
By Kendra Helmer, Stars and Stripes
European edition, Tuesday, April 27, 2004
The suicide bombing attack in the Persian Gulf on Saturday has claimed the first Coast Guardsman killed in action since the Vietnam War.
The guardsmen and two sailors died after a blast from an explosives-laden dhow flipped their inflatable boat.
They were part of a seven-member boarding team from the USS Firebolt, a Norfolk, Va.-based patrol coastal ship, a Department of Defense official said on condition of anonymity. The victims’ names had not been released, although Newsday identified the guardsman as Petty Officer Nathan Bruckenthal, 24, of Dania Beach, Fla. He died Sunday.
Three other sailors and a Coast Guardsman are in stable condition at a military hospital in Kuwait, said Cmdr. Jamie Graybeal, spokesman for 5th Fleet headquarters in Manama, Bahrain.
The sailors were with the Norfolk-based Patrol Craft 10, and the guardsmen were with the Miami-based Law Enforcement Detachment 403, the DOD official said.
The incident occurred after Firebolt personnel observed a small boat called a dhow approaching the Iraqi Khawr Al Amaya Oil Terminal, about 13 miles from Iraq. The Firebolt dispatched the boarding team in a rigid-hull inflatable boat to meet the dhow, which exploded at about 6 p.m. as they approached.
A Seahawk helicopter and inflatable boat from the HMAS Stuart, an Australian frigate, rescued the team.
About 20 minutes after the explosion, two speedboats advanced on the Al Basra Oil Terminal, about six miles south of the other terminal, and exploded as Iraqi security teams protected the terminal with small-arms fire.
Military personnel and Department of Defense civilians from the 5th Fleet are gathering evidence at the oil terminals. Graybeal said he had no information on who’s suspected in the attacks.
Coalition forces operate daily maritime-interception operations to protect the terminals under Operation Iraqi Freedom. Graybeal said coalition forces made 3,200 boardings in 2003 and have made more than 450 boardings this year 2004.
“We are conducting these operations to provide for maritime security and law enforcement operations in Iraqi territorial waters,” Graybeal said.
“The fact that these attacks were relatively unsuccessful is a good indication that we’re committed to that mission,” he said, re