HMAS Ballarat continues illicit drug seizures in the Middle East

May 13, 2019 – HMAS Ballarat has intercepted another 2.6 tonnes of illicit drugs while conducting a patrol in international waters in the Arabian Sea. The seizures, including approximately 2.5 tonnes of hashish and 135kg of heroin, were discovered in two vessels suspected of illegal activity on 5 and 7 May 2019. The vessels, known as dhows, were exhibiting signs of suspicious activity and were subsequently boarded and inspected by the crew of HMAS Ballarat. Commanding Officer HMAS Ballarat, Commander Paul Johnson, said the seizure was indicative of a highly…

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Fleet Fires Up for 2019

February 18, 2019 – Navy’s tempo has increased this month, marking the start of a busy year for the Fleet with more than 20 ships and over 2,000 personnel at sea on any given day. A Joint Task Group comprised of HMA Ships Canberra, Newcastle and Success departed Fleet Base East yesterday for respective deployments of up to four months. The Task Group will spend the next several weeks participating in Exercise OCEAN EXPLORER, a major training activity off the coast of Western Australia involving forces from the United Kingdom…

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Royal Australian Navy Seizes Illegal Drug Shipments in the Middle East

February 2, 2019 – Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Ballarat has seized more than 2.1 tonnes of hashish and 345 kilograms of heroin in two boarding operations in the Arabian Sea. The narcotics seizures, worth approximately $105 million* and $103.5 million* respectively, took place on 28 and 29 January 2019 as part of Operation Manitou. Commanding Officer of HMAS Ballarat, Commander Paul Johnson, said Ballarat conducted the flag verification boardings following the observation of two fishing vessels, known as dhows, exhibiting suspicious behaviour. “The boardings were conducted under the direction…

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Maritime Warfare Exercise Conducted by France, UK, Australia & US

January 22, 2019 – Maritime forces from France, the United Kingdom, Australia and the United States participated in the maritime warfare exercise Intrepid Sentinel in the Arabian Gulf, Jan. 15-17. Participating ships included France’s Marine Nationale F70AA-class air defense destroyer FS Cassard (D 614), United Kingdom’s Royal navy Daring-class air defense destroyer HMS Dragon (D 35), and Royal Australian navy Anzac-class frigate HMAS Ballarat (FFH 155), USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), USS Mobile Bay (CG 53), and USS Spruance (DDG 111). “The exercise itself is meant to develop interoperability,…

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Cross Nation Cross Deck

January 22, 2019 – Sailors from Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 71 participated in a helicopter cross deck evolution between the ships of two different nations during the maritime coalition Exercise Intrepid Sentinel, Jan. 15. The pilots and air crewmen of HSM-71, assigned to Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9, conducted helicopter cross deck training by flying from the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) and landing on the Royal Australian Navy Anzac-class frigate HMAS Ballarat (FFH 155). Lt. John White, from Atlanta, an MH-60R pilot assigned to HSM-71…

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HMAS Ballarat Seizes 3.1 Tonnes of Hashish in the Middle East

January 13, 2019 – Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Ballarat has seized more than 3.1 tonnes of hashish worth about $155 million* during a boarding operation that took place 8-9 January 2019 in international waters in the Arabian Sea. The fishing vessel, known as a dhow, was believed to be engaged in illegal activity when Combined Task Force 150 (CTF 150) of the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) directed Ballarat to board the vessel and conduct a flag verification check. Ballarat’s boarding team searched the dhow and seized the hashish. The…

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Royal Australian Navy seizes illegal drug shipments in the Middle East

December 28, 2018 – Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Ballarat has seized more than 900 kilos of heroin worth approximately $279 million* during two boarding operations that took place 21–23 Dec 18 as part of Operation MANITOU. Ballarat conducted flag verification checks by boarding vessels of interest, under the direction of the Combined Maritime Forces’ (CMF) Combined Task Force (CTF) 150 in international waters in the Arabian Sea. The fishing vessels, known as dhows, were believed to be engaging in illegal activity. The boarding team discovered and seized illegal narcotics…

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Joint ASW Exercise Conducted by France, Australia, US

December 19, 2018 – Maritime forces from France, Australia and the United States participated in Ship Anti-Submarine Warfare Readiness and Evaluation Measurement (SHAREM) 195 exercise in the Arabian Sea, Dec. 14-18. Participating ships included FS Cassard (D 614), HMAS Ballarat (FFH 155), USS Stockdale (DDG 106), USS Spruance (DDG 111), USS Louisville (SSN 724), and USNS Richard E. Byrd (T-AKE 4). Additionally, U.S. P-3C Orion aircraft and a French Atlantique 2 maritime patrol aircraft supported the exercise from the air. “SHAREM provides a great opportunity for realistic training, strengthening the…

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HMAS Ballarat First Patrol Off to a Strong Start

December 15, 2108 – HMAS Ballarat has completed a successful first patrol in the Middle East. Over seven days, the Australian warship conducted joint operations with the United States Coast Guard and the Iraqi and Kuwaiti navies, and carried out almost 90 vessel boardings and approaches. Ballarat finished the patrol in Kuwait, taking the opportunity to reaffirm a Defence relationship that has existed since Australia helped liberate the country in 1991. The Commanding Officer, Commander Paul Johnson, said spirits on board were justifiably high after the strong start to the…

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HMAS Ballarat deploys for nine-month Middle East mission

October 28, 2018 – HMAS Ballarat and her Ship’s Company of 190 officers and sailors departed Fleet Base West at Garden Island, Western Australia for maritime security operations in the Middle East on Sunday, 28th October 2018. Commander Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Jonathan Mead joined family and friends to farewell the ship and loved ones for their nine-month deployment to Operation MANITOU. RADM Mead said Ballarat would continue the RAN’s contribution to the Middle East region to ensuring safe and open access to the region while fostering trade and commerce.…

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HMAS Ballarat Arrives Home With Rescued Solo Yachtsman

October 1, 2018 – HMAS Ballarat has returned to port after participating in a search and rescue mission for two solo round-the-world yachtsmen. Ballarat’s MH-60R ‘Romeo’ Seahawk helicopter recovered Irish national, Gregor McGuckin, from a French scientific research station on Amsterdam Island after he was transported there by French fishing vessel Osiris. The second sailor, Indian Navy Commander Abhilash Tomy, who suffered a back injury, is being picked up by Indian Navy frigate INS Satpura for return to India. Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Mike Noonan, RAN, praised the quick…

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HMAS Ballarat supports search and rescue for injured Golden Globe race sailors

September 26, 2018 – HMAS Ballarat will reach Amsterdam Island tomorrow, ready to provide medical assistance to Indian Solo yachtsman Abhilash Tomy, injured in rough seas approximately 1800 nautical miles off the West Australian coast. The French fisheries patrol vessel Osiris recovered the injured sailor from the damaged yacht Thuriya, and another sailor from a second damaged yacht, and transported both sailors to Amsterdam Island on Tuesday. Coordinated by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority Joint Rescue Coordination Centre, HMAS Ballarat and a Royal Australian Air Force P-8A Poseidon aircraft responded…

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Success Flexes Mariner Skills

HMAS Success has been doing what she does best by providing much-needed supplies to the Fleet. Since January she has conducted 55 replenishments at sea and delivered approximately 6.5 million liters of fuel. During EXERCISE TALISMAN SABRE 17, Success flexed her mariner skills by achieving a three-point replenishment, where the ship simultaneously replenished two ships with fuel, while consigned cargo was transferred by the ship’s MRH90, multi-role helicopter. In one particular day, Success transferred approximately 1.5 million liters of fuel and 20,800 kg of fresh produce to HMA Ship’s Darwin,…

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Busy Ballarat Returns Home

HMAS Ballarat has sailed into her home port of Fleet Base West in Rockingham, Western Australia, to a large gathering of family and friends after completing a three month deployment to South East Asia and; participating in Exercise TALISMAN SABER off the Australian coast. The deployment, which began in early April, was part of the Australian Government’s efforts to promote regional stability and improve interoperability between regional partners and included port visits to Zhanjiang, Singapore, Sattahip, Bangkok, Da Nang and Kota Kinabalu. Ballarat’s Commanding Officer, Commander Paul Johnson said that…

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Busy Ballarat sails for Asia

April 6, 2017 – The crew of HMAS Ballarat formed up port-side and bid farewell to families, friends and well-wishers recently at Fleet Base West, south of Perth, before sailing through Careening Bay for a deployment throughout South East Asia. Since completing the anti-ship missile defense upgrade in 2016, busy Ballarat has completed her own readiness assessments, escorted both Canberra class amphibious ships, and participated in exercises RIMPAC and NORTHERN SHIELD, in addition to border protection duties assigned to Operation RESOLUTE. During their RESOLUTE patrol the crew observed the Cocos Keeling Island group, the First World War engagement ground of HMAS Sydney and SMS Emden and conducted a logistics visit to Christmas Island before a quick transit back to Fleet Base West which provided 10 days of…

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