HMAS Ballarat returns from regional deployment
The crew of the Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Ballarat have returned to Garden Island, Western Australia, after four months of deployment.
HMAS Ballarat participated in the search for Indonesian submarine KRI Nanggala 402, conducted Operation ARGOS, and participated in a series of bilateral and multilateral exercises, including Exercise Talisman Saber 21 and the Global Large-Scale Exercise scale 21.
Deputy Defense Minister Andrew Hastie praised the 188 crew members for their success and resilience after spending a long time at sea.
“The crew of HMAS Ballarat have contributed to Australia’s broad and strong presence in the Indo-Pacific, as we promote security and stability in the region,” said Minister Hastie.
“Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Australia remains strongly linked to our partners and neighbors. Ballarat’s deployment demonstrates our continued commitment to a safe, open and prosperous region.
The commanding officer of HMAS Ballarat, Commander Antony Pisani, said the crew had fostered “navy to navy” relations during their deployment.
“We are proud to build on important relationships with the Navy in the region,” said Commander Pisani.
“We have refined our interoperability with the United States Navy by conducting multi-deck helicopter operations, joint live-fire and replenishment-at-sea exercises.”
“We also participated in the search for the KRI Nanggala 402 off Bali. “
In Northeast Asia, Ballarat participated in Operation ARGOS – Australia’s contribution to the enforcement of United Nations Security Council sanctions against North Korea – by monitoring and deterring the illegal transfer of ship to ship of sanctioned goods. All staff completed a 14-day quarantine period at sea and completed all required COVID-19 measurements prior to arrival before arriving in Western Australia.
Ballarat’s crew will now get a much-needed respite before the ship deploys again later this year.