Two RAN ships, HMAS Success and HMAS Newcastle, have been decommissioned at Sydney's Garden Island naval base.
HMAS Success recently made her final voyage after 33 years' service.
Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Michael Noonan joined 23rd and final Commanding Officer of HMAS Success, Captain Darren Grogan to pay tribute to the ‘First Lady of the Fleet’ and the 5,000 men and women who served on board.
“HMAS Success has built a proud history and served Australia with distinction by contributing to many of Navy’s most important operations over the past three decades,” Vice Admiral Noonan said.
“It was the hard work and dedication of the crews who called Success home that made this ship so effective over such a long career.”
Commissioned in 1986, HMAS Success has steamed almost one million nautical miles, participated in a world record 11 Rim of the Pacific exercises, earned battle honours for service during the 1991 Gulf War and in East Timor in 1999, and helped search for missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370.
Newcastle was commissioned in 1993 and has since steamed around 815,000 nautical miles, deployed on operations to the Middle East six times, earned battle honours for her service in East Timor, the Persian Gulf and the Middle East, and conducted peacekeeping operations in the Solomon Islands.
Newcastle also undertook a number of humanitarian operations, including rescuing two injured yachtsmen from the Solo Global Challenger in the tragic 1998 Sydney to Hobart yacht race and rescuing the crew of Ocean Rowing Boat Transventure in 2003.
Minister for Defence Senator Linda Reynolds said that Newcastle had been essential in protecting Australia’s maritime interests.
“HMAS Newcastle has served the RAN with distinction for over quarter of a century,” Minister Reynolds said.
“I pay tribute to the Ship’s Company whose service on Newcastle over the years has contributed to security at sea, at home and abroad.”
Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Michael Noonan AO, RAN said the Ship’s Company were honoured to be the last crew to serve in Newcastle and was pleased the occasion could be shared with many former Ship’s Company, who attended the decommissioning ceremony.
“For those who served in Newcastle it was not just their workplace, it was their home away from home and they can look back on their time on board with pride,” Vice Admiral Noonan said.
HMAS Newcastle is set to be replaced by the Hobart class guided missile destroyers, whilst HMAS Success will be replaced by one of two oilers built in Spain.