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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Australian Government - Department of Defence

A visit from 'royalty' and a last port call

By Lieutenant Carolyn Martin and Lieutenant Commander Andrew Herring
29 July 2022

HMAS Parramatta recently concluded its last port visit as part of its regional presence deployment following a busy program of cooperative and independent training ... and a special visit from the deep.

Members of Parramatta's aviation department were put through their paces practicing winching personnel onto the frigate's flight deck using the ship's embarked MH-60R Seahawk helicopter.

Commanding Officer Commander David Murphy displayed his confidence in the team by volunteering to step into the strop.

On the water, Parramatta's boarding party practiced launching and recovering the ship's rigid hull inflatable boat, negotiating the boarding party rope ladder against the ship's side and executing boardings according to Navy procedures.

Meanwhile, the ship's boatswain's mates conducted small arms weapons training to keep their skills sharp.

The program of training also included a cooperative activity with the US Navy amphibious ship USS Green Bay, focused on anti-submarine warfare.

The activity provided a valuable opportunity for personnel in the ship's operations room and helicopter to practice anti-submarine warfare procedures in conjunction with an allied navy.

While at sea, the ship also received a visit from 'King Neptune', who inaugurated willing members of the ship's company crossing the equator for the first time - nicknamed 'Pollywogs' - in a contemporary, friendly version of the time-honoured traditional maritime ceremony.

Once inducted by King Neptune, these mariners are forevermore known as 'Shellbacks'.

An enjoyable stop in Singapore capped off Parramatta's current regional presence deployment.

The logistics port visit provided the ship's company with an opportunity for well-earned rest and relaxation, including a series of friendly football games against local AFL teams.

Following the visit, Parramatta proceeded through the Indonesian archipelago before making its way back towards Australia.

Parramatta has been on the regional presence deployment since May.

During its deployment the ship has undertaken maritime exercises and other engagements with regional partners.

The presence of Australian Navy ships throughout the Indo-Pacific, as well as along Australia's maritime borders, is an essential part of working towards a peaceful, prosperous, secure, and stable region.

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