The Royal Australian Navy’s last Auxiliary Oiler supply ship, HMAS Sirius has been farewelled by Navy’s east-coast based Fleet and dignitaries ahead of its decommissioning in Western Australia in December. New South Wales Governor General Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC and Navy personnel waved from ships and from ashore, as the Oiler did a farewell lap of Sydney Harbour as part of its decommissioning tour.
Commanding Officer of HMAS Sirius, Commander Christopher Doherty said the ship and those who have crewed her have excelled in their duties. “Since commissioning in 2006, HMAS Sirius has completed 766 Replenishments at Sea. This equates to almost one every week since commissioning,” Doherty said. “We have been honoured to provide critical logistics capability to not only Australian naval ships, but those from New Zealand, the United States, the United Kingdom, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Spain, South Korea, Japan and Canada. It has been a great privilege to serve on board Sirius knowing that our work has enabled the Fleet to stay at sea to help safeguard the region.”
During the lap of the harbour, HMA Ships Supply, Arunta, Watson, Penguin, Kuttabul and a MH-60R helicopter from 816 Squadron at HMAS Albatross, joined the event to pay tribute to Sirius’ 15 years of service.
“Today demonstrates how the Australian Navy values and supports its own,” Doherty said. “To see so many of our colleagues turn out to farewell us was a moment I am sure none of the crew will forget.”
Following the lap, Sirius rendezvoused with HMAS Supply in the vicinity of the Western Channel. The two ships then steamed together out of the harbour and undertook a Replenishment at Sea. HMAS Sirius’ decommissioning will be the end of an era, and signify the official handover of replenishment capability to the Supply Class Auxiliary Oiler Replenishment ships, HMA Ships Supply and Stalwart.