Two Royal Australian Navy vessels, HMA Ships Ballarat and Parramatta, and more than 350 personnel have departed their respective homeports in Western Australia and New South Wales for a two-month deployment throughout Southeast and Northeast Asia. The vessels will operate as a combined task group and represent the ADF’s second Regional Presence Deployment of 2021.
Commander of the Joint Task Force, Rear Admiral Mark Hammond, said Ballarat and Parramatta are well prepared for the deployment, with both completing similar missions last year. “The crews will leverage the skills and lessons of previous deployments to the region to strengthen our naval capability and partner interoperability,” Hammond said.
Ballarat’s Commanding Officer and Commander of the Task Group, Commander Antony Pisani, said this latest deployment reflects Australia’s commitment to maintaining strong relationships in the region. “Ballarat and Parramatta will build on the fantastic work of HMA Ships Anzac and Sirius, which recently participated in Exercise La Perouse in the Northeast Indian Ocean and conducted other navy-to-navy activities with a number regional partners,” Pisani said. “Australia has a long history of embracing navy-to-navy engagement to ensure we can work together to preserve safe and free sea-lanes.”
The ships will rendezvous in Australia’s northern waters prior to commencing planned engagements with partner nations later this month. Defence is fully committed to adhering to public health guidelines to minimise transmission of COVID-19 and has implemented significant measures to ensure the health and safety of its personnel, as well as the countries they visit and interact with. All ADF personnel will complete a mandatory 14-day quarantine period at sea before returning to Australia.