has welcomed home HMAS Ships Toowoomba, Stalwart, Brisbane and Choules after a three-month regional presence deployment in Northeast and Southeast Asia. Over 700 Navy officers and sailors were welcomed back to their homeports by family and friends just in time for Christmas. Toowoomba and Stalwart returned to HMAS Stirling in Western Australia, while Brisbane and Choules returned to HMAS Kuttabul in NSW.

Regional presence deployments deepen Australia’s international relationships across the region and enhance our ability to operate with partner nations and allies during security or humanitarian crises. This deployment is part of the Australian Defence Force’s robust and long-standing program of regional engagement that demonstrates Australia’s enduring commitment to an open, secure and prosperous Indo-Pacific.

The task group completed multiple activities with partner nations including Canada, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and the United States. HMAS Choules deployed to Honiara, and provided logistical support to the Australian Federal Police and the Royal Solomon Islands Police during the 2023 Pacific Games.

Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Mark Hammond, said: “It’s a privilege to welcome home the crews of HMA Ships Toowoomba, Stalwart, Brisbane and Choules from their regional deployments, where they made notable contributions to Australia’s reputation through diplomacy in cooperation with our partners and allies. These ships are impressive capabilities, but it is our people who get the job done. During their deployments, each one of these sailors has lived an exciting and inspiring story. They have experienced things most Australians never will. As a professional team they have furthered Australia’s reputation in the region and beyond. However, they don’t do it alone: our sailors at sea derive their strength from their loved ones at home, thank you to the families and friends for your enduring support of our people. While the return of these ships is an occasion to celebrate, I would also like to recognise and thank our people who will remain on watch, at sea and ashore; ready to respond during this festive period and beyond.”


For Editorial Inquiries Contact:
Editor Kym Bergmann at

For Advertising Inquiries Contact:
Director of Sales Graham Joss at

Previous articleKBR’s mission planning capabilities support Australian Army Aviation
Next articleBabcock, Bechtel Australia and HII sign AUKUS MOU


  1. Our defence force is just fine as it is and with professional leadership in Government and the ADF and with more support from all Aussies is on a path to be a great and stronger global ambassador for all .

    • yeah I just looked at the latest figures and in the last couple of years, the Air Force has grown slightly, but the Navy and Army have taken abit of haemorrhaging. Interesting the reserves have slightly increased in size for all services.
      The ADF is already probably the best paid military in the world so not sure that is the cause.
      Is it a lack of patriotism in the current generation??
      Anyone have any thoughts?

      • There is a clear correlation between the national unemployment rate and ADF recruiting / retention. Put another way, when unemployment is high people are more likely to join the military because it’s better to have a job and earn money rather than not. This means that – despite the high pay and other benefits (medical; superannuation) – the ADF, speaking very generally, is not a particularly attractive option. There are many reasons for that including, I suspect, that quite a lot of people dislike the prospect – however remote – of being shot, or being required to shoot someone else. To that can be added a myriad of other things such as the posting cycle and the necessity of marching, saluting and being ordered around. The attitude of Defence towards the media – namely that we are The Enemy – is also counterproductive because kids are more likely to view the system as being unable to manage acquisitions or support platforms that are meant to be in service as a consequence of all the negative stories they see.

  2. Navy doing what Navy has always done. Showing the flag as required. No. Navy is not fine. So much more needs to be done to make sure that it is.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here