The Royal Australian Navy’s Anzac class frigate HMAS Toowoomba has arrived in Bahrain and started operations in the Middle East under Operation MANITOU.
As part of its mission, the warship will also support the International Maritime Security Construct to ensure freedom of navigation through the Strait of Hormuz.
Furthermore, it will continue Australia’s long-standing effort with the Combined Maritime Forces. The latest operations will be the sixth mission for HMAS Toowoomba.
Minister for Defence Senator Linda Reynolds said HMAS Toowoomba will perform key roles such as counter-terrorism, preventing piracy and ensuring freedom of navigation.
Reynolds added: “Under the International Maritime Security Construct, HMAS Toowoomba will work with a range of international partners to monitor and deter destabilising activity and support the safe passage of commercial and civilian shipping in the Middle East region.
“HMAS Toowoomba will also support the Combined Maritime Forces through Combined Task Force 150 (CTF 150), which Australia currently commands.”
The Combined Maritime Forces is a multinational task force of 33 countries that aim to disrupt terrorist organisations and illegal activities in the maritime domain.
The ship will be the Royal Australian Navy’s 68th deployment to the Middle East region since 1990.
Combined Task Force 150 commander Ray Leggatt said: “Royal Australian Navy vessels have a successful history working with CTF 150 on previous deployments and I am confident that this deployment will be no different.”
HMAS Toowoomba carried out transit of the Strait of Hormuz with the UK Royal Navy’s HMS Defender while on the way to Bahrain.
BAE Systems concluded on-dock production activities associated with the anti-ship missile defence (ASMD) upgrade of HMAS Parramatta in April 2016.