The Minister for Defence Science and Personnel, Warren Snowdon, joined the ship’s company of HMAS Stuart in the Persian Gulf for a morning tea to acknowledge Australia Day.
HMAS Stuart, which is crewed by 190 members of the Royal Australian Navy, this week commenced maritime security operations in the Middle East Area of Operations as part of Operation SLIPPER.
While deployed, Stuart is working in an area of operations that covers more than two million square miles of international waters to conduct counter-terrorism, counter-piracy and maritime security operations.
Addressing the ship’s company yesterday, Mr Snowdon commended the sailors for the significant role that they carry out in the Middle East as part of the Combined Maritime Forces, which showcases Australia’s security credentials at the international level.
“It is a source of great pride for me, and for the people of Australia, to see the determination and commitment you display as you commence this important mission. Your skills and professionalism enable Australia to make a valuable contribution to regional stability and in the provision of security to sea trade,” Mr Snowdon said aboard HMAS Stuart.
“By targeting illegal trafficking of people, drugs and weapons that support international terrorist organisations, and denying freedom of movement to pirates, your work is instrumental in promoting a safe maritime environment,” he said.
Mr Snowdon also praised the selflessness of all ADF personnel currently away from home while serving on operations on behalf of the Australian people.
“Despite the many personal and family sacrifices involved, including being away from loved ones on special days like Australia Day, you dedicate yourselves to this valuable endeavor, and for this I, on behalf of the Australian people, express my sincere thanks and gratitude.”