HMAS Gascoyne’s return home saw families lining the wharf at HMAS Waterhen to welcome them back after a successful three-month deployment.
Gascoyne’s 45 crew left Sydney on 30 August 2021, and spent time circumnavigating Australia to conduct vital route surveys of Australia’s most important and strategic waterways.
Commanding Officer of HMAS Gascoyne, Lieutenant Commander Geoff Crane said his crew were upstanding and professional throughout the deployment.
“I am proud of the crew who have consistently represented Navy to the highest standard,” Lieutenant Commander Crane said.
“This deployment has not only involved a number of port surveys important for both military and commercial vessels, but also a number of community engagements.”
In October, Gascoyne visited its ceremonial homeport Exmouth in Western Australia and spent a number of days participating in local events.
“The highlight of this deployment has certainly been the Exmouth visit and our Freedom of Entry march,” Lieutenant Commander Crane said.
“It is always humbling to engage with communities who support Navy and we were blown away by how welcoming the Exmouth community was.”
A crew member of HMAS Gascoyne kisses his partner on the wharf at HMAS Waterhen following his return home after the completion of a successful deployment. Photo: Petty Officer Tom Gibson
Following the Exmouth visit, Gascoyne joined in the mine countermeasure exercise, Exercise Dugong 2021 and played a key role in countering a simulated adversary who was attempting to block Port of Fremantle and Indian Ocean accesses.
“Exercise Dugong 21 gave us the opportunity to put our crew to the test in a high tempo environment where we were actively countering a perceived threat,” Lieutenant Commander Crane said.
“I think it gave everyone an appreciation about just how vital the work of Mine Hunters can be.”
Gascoyne ended its deployment on a high with a family day in Adelaide before steaming back to Sydney to outrun adverse weather.
“Ending our deployment with the family day and then being greeted by our families on the wharf when we arrived home is the perfect symmetry to show just how important family support is to our success at sea,” Lieutenant Commander Crane said.
The crew now look forward to some much needed respite before heading into another year of survey operations and exercises.