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Australia: HMAS Adelaide Decommissions

HMAS Adelaide Decommissions

HMAS Adelaide was decommissioned at Garden Island in Western Australia today. The time-honoured tradition marked the end of 27 years of service for what was the Royal Australian Navy's (RAN) oldest frigate.

The ship's Australian White Ensign was lowered for the last time and handed to the Adelaide's Commanding Officer, Commander Robert Slaven.

"Today is an historic occasion, one which the the crew of Adelaide is proud to be a part of," Commander Slaven said.

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence, the Hon Dr Mike Kelly MP; Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Russ Shalders; Commander Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Nigel Coates; and a number of other distinguished guests joined Adelaide's crew, past and present, for the ceremony.

Adelaide is the second of the Adelaide-class frigates to be decommissioned, the first being HMAS Canberra in November 2005. Their four sister ships Sydney, Darwin, Melbourne and Newcastle remain in service.

Adelaide was constructed by Todd Pacific Shipyard in the United States and commissioned into the RAN on 15 November 1980. She was the second ship in the RAN to bear the name: Her predecessor Adelaide I was a light cruiser that served from 1922-1946.

Adelaide has proudly represented Australia in a number of theatres of conflict during her years of service. She was one of the first Australian warships to be deployed to the Persian Gulf in 1990. Adelaide was again deployed to the Gulf on two more occasions in 2002 and 2004. She also participated in both major East Timor operations in 1999 and 2006.

In peacetime, one of Adelaide's more notable achievements was her involvement in the high profile search and rescue of solo yachtsmen Thierry Dubois and Tony Bullimore from the Southern Ocean in 1997.

The name Adelaide will not be missing from the Australian fleet for long, with one of the forthcoming Canberra-class Landing Helicopter Docks to bear the name.

Adelaide will be gifted to the NSW Government and sunk off the NSW Central Coast at Terrigal as an artificial reef and dive attraction.


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