HMAS
Darwin Part Four

HMAS Darwin
Class
Adelaide Class
Type
Guided Missile Frigate (FFG)
Pennant
FFG 04
International Callsign
VKDA
Motto
Resurgent
Builder
Todd Pacific Shipyards Corporation, Seattle, Washington, USA
Laid Down
3 July 1981
Launched
26 March 1982
Launched by
Mrs Joan Johnston, C St J
Commissioned
21 July 1984
Decommissioned
9 December 2017
Dimensions & Displacement
Displacement 4267 tonnes
Length 138.10 metres
Beam 13.7 metres
Draught 4.5 metres
Performance
Speed 29 knots
Range 4500 nautical miles
Complement
Crew 200
Propulsion
Machinery
  • 2 General Electric LM 2500 gas turbines
  • 2 auxiliary electric propulsion units
Horsepower 40,000
Armament
Missiles
  • Harpoon Block 2 anti-ship missiles
  • Standard SM-2 Block IIIA anti-aircraft missiles
  • Mk 41 VLS launcher
Guns
  • 1 x OTO Melara 3 in (76 mm)/62 US Mk 75
  • 1 x 20 mm Mk 15 Vulcan Phalanx anti-missile system
  • 6 x 12.7 mm machine guns
  • 2 x Rafael Mini-Typhoon 12.7 mm remote-controlled guns (for selected deployments)
Torpedoes 6 x Mk 32 (2 triple) torpedo tubes
Physical Countermeasures
  • 4x Loral Hycor SRBOC Mk 36 or TERMA SKWS
  • 2 x Rafael long-range chaff rocket launchers
  • LESCUT torpedo countermeasures
Electronic Countermeasures
  • Elbit EA-2118 jammer
  • Rafael C-Pearl
Radars
  • Raytheon SPS-49A(V)1
  • ISC Cardion SPS-55
  • Lockheed SPG-60
  • Sperry Mk 92 Mod 12
Sonars
  • Thales Spherion (TMS 4131)
  • Petrel (TMS 5424) mine avoidance
  • Albatros (TMS 4350) towed-array torpedo warning system
Combat Data Systems ADACS OE-2 SATCOM; Link 11. Link 16.
Weapon Control Systems
  • Sperry Mk 92 Mod 12 gun and missile control
  • Radamec 2500 optronic director with TV, laser and IR imager
Awards
Battle Honours
HMAS Darwin Badge

HMAS Darwin Part Three

2010

In February/March 2010 Darwin participated in the annual Fleet Concentration Period before undertaking an extended maintenance period between April and July. She then returned to sea in September for a series of evaluations, trials and exercises after which she resumed a routine programme of exercises, training and maintenance for the remainder of the year and into 2011.

RAN Fleet Concentration Period (FCP 10-1) was a fleet training activity conducted in the East Australian Exercise Areas (in the vicinity of Jervis Bay and the waters off Newcastle and Eden on the NSW south coast) and the Shoalwater Bay Training Area and Townsville, Queensland during the period 8 February to 12 March 2010.
RAN Fleet Concentration Period (FCP 10-1) was a fleet training activity conducted in the East Australian Exercise Areas (in the vicinity of Jervis Bay and the waters off Newcastle and Eden on the NSW south coast) and the Shoalwater Bay Training Area and Townsville, Queensland during the period 8 February to 12 March 2010. Top left and right: Able Seaman Boatswains Mate Nathan Coles acts as man overboard sentry in HMAS Darwin. Bottom left: Able Seaman Steward Tracey Domoney prepares for Officer's arrival at lunch in the wardroom. Bottom right: Seaman Boatswain's Mate Alan Patterson and Seaman Boatswain's Mate Liam Ross (background) on the gun direction platform during action stations.
Top left: HMNZS Te Mana steams past HMAS Darwin during Officer of the Watch manoeuvres with HMAS Anzac in the East Australian Exercise Area during the Fleet Concentration Period.<br />
Top right: Minister for Defence, Senator The Hon. John Faulkner, is welcomed onboard HMAS Darwin by the CO, CMDR Chris Smith, CSM, RAN.<br />
Bottom: HMAS Darwin at anchor in Jervis Bay near HMAS Creswell.
Top left: HMNZS Te Mana steams past HMAS Darwin during Officer of the Watch manoeuvres with HMAS Anzac in the East Australian Exercise Area during the Fleet Concentration Period. Top right: Minister for Defence, Senator The Hon. John Faulkner, is welcomed onboard HMAS Darwin by the CO, CMDR Chris Smith, CSM, RAN. Bottom: HMAS Darwin at anchor in Jervis Bay near HMAS Creswell.
HMAS Darwin departs Fleet Base East, 15 March 2010.
HMAS Darwin departs Fleet Base East, 15 March 2010.

2011

HMAS Darwin supports USS George Washington as part of Exercise TALISMAN SABRE 2011.
Left: HMAS Darwin supports the USS George Washington as part of Exercise TALISMAN SABRE 2011. US Navy sailors launch and recover aircraft during a media visit to the USS George Washington 16 July 2011. The tour was set-up for the media to gain familiarisation of the ship and a better understanding of the role it would play during the exercise. Right: HMAS Darwin sails alongside the aircraft carrier USS George Washington, in the Arafura Sea, as part of Exercise TALISMAN SABRE 2011. United States Navy personnel are in the foreground preparing an F/A-18F (left) and F/A-18E (right) Super Hornet for launch from USS George Washington's catapult.

In May 2011 Darwin deployed from Sydney for Asian waters and a rare opportunity to act as an embedded unit in a USN Carrier Strike Group. She arrived in Yokosuka, via Guam, in early June and, after donating children’s books, toys and gifts for the Minami Sanriku area following the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami, was integrated with the USS George Washington Strike Group on 12 June. The strike group conducted exercises in Japanese waters before taking passage to Australia to participate in Exercise TALISMAN SABRE 11 off the Queensland coast in July. Both the exercise and Darwin’s period as an embedded unit of the strike group came to an end on 26 July after which time Darwin paid a port visit to her namesake city.

HMAS Coonawarra and HMAS Darwin exercised their right to a Freedom of Entry to the city of Darwin with a spectacular march through the city for Navy Week 2011.
HMAS Coonawarra and HMAS Darwin exercised their right to a Freedom of Entry to the city of Darwin with a spectacular march through the city for Navy Week 2011. Top left: CMDR Richard Donnelly, CO HMAS Coonawarra (front left) and CMDR David Mann, CO HMAS Darwin (front right) lead the Freedom of Entry March through Knuckey Street, Darwin. Top right: Officers and crew of HMAS Darwin. Bottom left: CMDR Richard Donnelly (centre left) and CMDR David Mann (centre right) challenge Lord Mayor for Entry to the city of Darwin. Bottom right: MDR Richard Donnelly and CMDR David Mann with Chief Petty Officer Naval Police Coxswain (CPONPC) Frank Ritchie (left) and CPONPC Ray Young (right), who are carrying the ship's authority for Freedom of Entry on completion of the march.
 

On 30 July a detachment of Darwin’s ship’s company participated in the Northern Territory Navy Week Freedom of Entry parade through Darwin town centre. The ship then visited Fremantle before conducting exercises in Western Australian waters and returning to Sydney on 25 August.

September proved to be a charitable month for the crew as thirty members of the ship’s company conducted a working bee at the Triple Care Farm, a youth rehabilitation centre run by the Sir David Martin Foundation, Darwin’s primary ship’s charity, while also making a $1000 donation. The ship’s rugby team and supporters also travelled to Canberra to participate in the annual rugby match against the ACT Veterans’ Rugby Union Club raising $1000 for the Paediatrics at the Canberra Hospital (PaTCH) Ward. The rugby team visited the PaTCH Ward the following day armed with show bags for the young patients. The match ended in a 9-all draw.

ADF supported the Australian Government's contribution to the security of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) 2011 by providing maritime, land and air assets. HMAS Darwin was assigned as a maritime surveillance and response asset off the coast of WA and conducted maritime patrols with other ADF assets. Darwin also provided crew members with opportunities to develop their professional skill sets and allow for career advancement within the RAN.
ADF supported the Australian Government's contribution to the security of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) 2011 by providing maritime, land and air assets. HMAS Darwin was assigned as a maritime surveillance and response asset off the coast of WA and conducted maritime patrols with other ADF assets. Darwin also provided crew members with opportunities to develop their professional skill sets and allow for career advancement within the RAN. Top left: SBLT Gemma Casserly conducts a set of engineering casualty control drills aboard HMAS Darwin. Top right: LEUT Arron Convery trains junior sailors in short pulse fire fighting techniques. Bottom left: (L-R) Able Seaman Electronic Technician (ABET) Jodie Forster, Leading Seaman Electronic Seaman (LSET) Adam Smith, LSET Grant Wheeler and ABET Rohan Hitch prepare to load 76mm drill (training) rounds. Bottom right: Darwin's boarding party undertaking training in boarding operations.

Darwin returned to Western Australian waters in October contributing to Operation AMULET, the ADF’s support to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) convened in Perth. She returned to the east coast in November where she participated in Exercise TRITON WARRIOR before entering a leave and maintenance period in December.

2012

Left: Crew of Darwin departs Sydney Harbour, May 2012. Right: Crew of Darwin conducting PT on the flight deck.
Left: HMAS Darwin personnel on the forecastle (foc'sle) as the ship departs Sydney Harbour, 24 May 2012. Right: Crew of Darwin conducting physical training on the flight deck in May 2012.
Top left: Heaving in on the berthing lines at Apia Samoa, 31 May 2012. Top right: Sailors pose in front of a Seahawk helicopter embarked in HMAS Darwin. Bottom left: Crew of HMAS Darwin take part in a working bee at the Samoan National Cancer Research Centre, June 2012. Bottom right: HMAS Darwin vs Samoan Kangaroos.
Top left: Heaving in on the berthing lines at Apia Samoa, 31 May 2012. Top right: Sailors pose in front of a Seahawk helicopter embarked in HMAS Darwin. Bottom left: Crew of HMAS Darwin take part in a working bee at the Samoan National Cancer Research Centre, June 2012. Bottom right: HMAS Darwin vs Samoan Kangaroos.
Top left: The King of Tonga (King Tapou VI) arrives onboard Darwin and is welcomed by a guard from from the ship. Top right: CO HMAS Darwin, CMDR Brian Schlegel, RAN shows the King of Tonga (King Tapou VI) the bridge of Darwin. Bottom left: Members of HMAS Darwin ship’s company play touch football against the Royal Tongan Marines. Bottom right: Darwin Communication and Information Systems (CIS) Sailors on the port bridge-wing while the ship is alongside in Nuku’alofa, Tonga.
Top left: The King of Tonga (King Tapou VI) arrives onboard Darwin and is welcomed by a guard from from the ship. Top right: CO HMAS Darwin, CMDR Brian Schlegel, RAN shows the King of Tonga (King Tapou VI) the bridge of Darwin. Bottom left: Members of HMAS Darwin ship’s company play touch football against the Royal Tongan Marines. Bottom right: Darwin Communication and Information Systems (CIS) Sailors on the port bridge-wing while the ship is alongside in Nuku’alofa, Tonga.

Having remained alongside in a leave and maintenance period until 26 March 2012, Darwin commenced shakedown and workup exercises in preparation for an impending Pacific Ocean deployment. She visited Tasmania in April before departing Sydney for the Pacific on 24 May. She arrived in Apia, Samoa, on 31 May where she took part in events marking the 50th anniversary of Samoan independence with a detachment of the ship’s company participating in a march through the city streets. She then went on to visit Nuku’alofa (Tonga) before arriving at Pearl Harbor on 24 June.

Top: HMAS Darwin alongside Pearl Harbor during Exercise RIM OF THE PACIFIC 2012 (RIMPAC 12). Bottom left: HMAS Darwin sailors watch fireworks during 4th of July celebrations. Bottom centre: Darwin’s life ring. Bottom right: Sailors from HMA Ships Perth and Darwin team up with USN Mass Communications Specialist First Class, Todd Stafford on board HMAS Darwin. (L-R): AB Sally Reiffel, AB Alistair Salmon, USN Mass Communication Specialist First Class, Todd Stafford, AB Damien Herd and AB Alicia Kelty.
Top: HMAS Darwin alongside Pearl Harbor during Exercise RIM OF THE PACIFIC 2012 (RIMPAC 12). Bottom left: HMAS Darwin sailors watch fireworks during 4th of July celebrations. Bottom centre: Darwin’s life ring. Bottom right: Sailors from HMA Ships Perth and Darwin team up with USN Mass Communications Specialist First Class, Todd Stafford on board HMAS Darwin. (L-R): AB Sally Reiffel, AB Alistair Salmon, USN Mass Communication Specialist First Class, Todd Stafford, AB Damien Herd and AB Alicia Kelty.
 
Top left: HMAS Darwin sails as a RAN Seahawk flies past on Biofuel during the signing of the Great Green Fleet agreement onboard USS Nimitz during Exercise RIMPAC 12. Top centre and right: HMAS Darwin successfully fires an Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile. Bottom left: HMAS Darwin's S-70B-2 Seahawk aircrew onboard HMAS Perth. Bottom right: CO HMAS Darwin CMDR Brian Schlegel presents Minister for Defence Stephen Smith with an HMAS Darwin commemorative coin.
Top left: HMAS Darwin sails as a RAN Seahawk flies past on Biofuel during the signing of the Great Green Fleet agreement onboard USS Nimitz during Exercise RIMPAC 12. Top centre and right: HMAS Darwin successfully fires an Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile. Bottom left: HMAS Darwin's S-70B-2 Seahawk aircrew onboard HMAS Perth. Bottom right: CO HMAS Darwin CMDR Brian Schlegel presents Minister for Defence Stephen Smith with an HMAS Darwin commemorative coin.

Darwin participated in Exercise RIMPAC 12 through to the end of July involving some 40 ships, 6 submarines, 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel from 22 countries. She departed Pearl Harbor on 7 August and arrived in Darwin, via Guam, on 29 August. There she participated in Exercise KAKADU 12 in early September; however, her participation was curtailed when she was forced back to Darwin Harbour from 7 to 24 September to replace a gas turbine.

Exercise KAKADU 12 held in northern Australian waters.
Exercise KAKADU 12 held in northern Australian waters.
 
Darwin arrives back at Fleet Base East, Sydney on 30 October 12.
Darwin arrives back at Fleet Base East, Sydney on 30 October 2012.

October saw Darwin conduct patrols in the vicinity of Ashmore Reef in support of Operation RESOLUTE before arriving back in Sydney, via Cairns, at the end of the month. She then participated in Exercise TRITON WARRIOR in November before entering Captain Cook Graving Dock for extensive maintenance in the New Year.

2013

HMAS Darwin ship's company march through the streets of Sydney in the Anzac Day Parade, 25 April 2013.
HMAS Darwin ship's company march through the streets of Sydney in the Anzac Day Parade, 25 April 2013.

Returning to sea on 19 July 2013 Darwin commenced exercises and trials, as well as preparations for the impending International Fleet Review and a return to the Middle East in support of Operation SLIPPER. On 3 October, Darwin rendezvoused with numerous warships from Australia and overseas outside Jervis Bay in preparation for the International Fleet Review commemorating the 100th anniversary of the arrival of the first RAN Fleet Unit in 1913.

HMA Ships Darwin, Sydney, Diamantina and Parramatta in Sydney Harbour as part of the International Fleet Review 2013.
International Fleet Review 2013. Top left: HMAS Sydney leads Darwin through Sydney Harbour as part of the re-enactment of the original fleet arrival 100 years ago. Top right: HMAS Diamantina heads into Sydney Harbour with Darwin and Sydney in the background. Bottom left: HMAS Darwin transits through Sydney Harbour as part of Division 3 of the warship entry. Bottom right: HMA Ships Darwin, Perth and Parramatta pass through Sydney Harbour in column as part of the re-enactment of the first RAN fleet unit entry.
 
HMAS Darwin on Sydney Harbour during the International Fleet Review pyrotechnics and fireworks spectacular.
HMAS Darwin on Sydney Harbour during the International Fleet Review pyrotechnics and fireworks spectacular.

On the morning of 4 October the fleet entered Sydney Harbour with Darwin second in the column astern of HMAS Sydney (IV) for the International Fleet Review Fleet Entry. The formation saluted the Governor General of Australia, Her Excellency Ms Quentin Bryce, AC, CVO, embarked in HMAS Leeuwin, as it rounded Bradleys Head, with Sydney firing a 21 gun salute which was then returned by HMAS Kuttabul. As part of the Fleet Review celebrations Darwin was involved in a number of other activities including ship open days, the Combined Navies Parade, the Sea Power Conference and the Fleet Review Sports Day. With her Fleet Review commitments complete, she re-commenced preparations for her deployment to the Middle East in the New Year.

HMAS Darwin leaves stern first from Garden Island Naval Base, Sydney, under control of tugs, 29 July 2013.
HMAS Darwin leaves stern first from Garden Island Naval Base, Sydney, under control of tugs, 29 July 2013.
 

2014 - Operation SLIPPER Rotation 33

After months of intensive preparation, HMAS Darwin departed her homeport of Garden Island, Sydney for a seven-month deployment as part of Operation SLIPPER in the Middle East Region.
After months of intensive preparation, HMAS Darwin departed her homeport of Garden Island, Sydney for a seven-month deployment as part of Operation SLIPPER in the Middle East Region. Top left: Commander Australian Fleet, RADM Tim Barrett AM, CSC RAN speaks to distinguished guests, friends and family of HMAS Darwin before the ship departs. Top right: Chief Petty Officer Maritime Logistics - Supply Chain Rachael-Anne Brookshaw waves goodbye to family and friends. Bottom: HMAS Darwin sailors line the port forecastle during the departure ceremony of the ship conducting Operation SLIPPER duties.
 
Ship's company of HMAS Darwin gather on the flight deck for a damage control exercise debrief provided by the damage control instructors, on the completion of a damage control exercise held onboard.
Ship's company of HMAS Darwin gather on the flight deck for a debrief, provided by the ships damage control instructors, on the completion of a damage control exercise held onboard.
CO HMAS Darwin, CMDR Terence Morrison, RAN, HMAS Darwin's Launching Lady, Mrs Joan Johnston, OAM, Mrs Karen Hall, Jon Hall and Warrant Officer Peter Leech, with HMAS Darwin in the background at the Port of Fremantle, Western Australia, 28 January 2014.
Commanding Officer HMAS Darwin, Commander Terence Morrison, RAN, HMAS Darwin's Launching Lady, Mrs Joan Johnston, OAM, Mrs Karen Hall, Jon Hall and Warrant Officer Peter Leech, with HMAS Darwin in the background at the Port of Fremantle, Western Australia, 28 January 2014.

Darwin departed Sydney for her next Operation SLIPPER deployment on 19 January 2014. She conducted a patrol of the Bass Strait oil platforms enroute to Western Australia before visiting Fleet Base West and Fremantle. During the passage across the Indian Ocean she called briefly at Diego Garcia and Kochi before arriving in the MEAO on 18 February.

HMAS Darwin closes to assist shipwrecked fishermen.
HMAS Darwin closes to assist shipwrecked fishermen.
 

Darwin’s deployment proved to be a busy one which saw her conducting patrols against narcotics and weapons smugglers in the North Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden, Red Sea, Western Indian Ocean and off the African east coast. One of her first duties, however, on 1 March, was to rescue 13 Iranian fishermen on a makeshift raft made from wreckage, including refrigerator doors and cut up plastic water bottles, after their fishing boat had sunk five days earlier.

HMAS Darwin's Aviation department with the embarked helicopter, 'Blackout', an S-70B Seahawk, deploying flares in the background.
HMAS Darwin's Aviation department with the embarked helicopter, 'Blackout', an S-70B Seahawk, deploying flares in the background.
 

Darwin’s Seahawk helicopter ‘Blackout’, proved to be invaluable over the course of the deployment due to the large patrols areas. The ship conducted five separate patrols and transitioned from Operation SLIPPER to Operation MANITOU on 1 July 2014. She conducted eight separate narcotics interdictions over the course of the deployment resulting in the seizure and destruction of 1675kg of heroin and 10,647kg of cannabis resin. Darwin broke the Combined Maritime Force records for the single largest seizures of both heroin and cannabis; on 23 April she incepted a dhow off the coast of Kenya carrying 1032kg of heroin, and on 28 June she boarded a dhow in the Arabian Sea and seized 6248kg of cannabis resin.

HMAS Darwin conducted eight separate narcotics interdictions over the course of her deployment to Operation MANITOU, resulting in the seizure and destruction of 1675kg of heroin and 10,647kg of cannabis resin.
Top left: HMAS Darwin's boarding party members seized over one ton of heroin during a boarding conducted on a suspicious vessel, 24 April 2014.
Top right: (second right) Petty Officer Boatswain Ewen Jenkins assists with the loading of seized hashish onboard HMAS Darwin, confiscated during a boarding in June 2014.
Bottom: Over six tons of hashish seized during a boarding was placed on Darwin's flight deck, prior to destruction. The hashish was contained in 306 hessian bags each containing approximately 20 x 1kg coffee bags, a sample of which can be seen on top, 29 June 2014.
 
Top left: Darwin's ship's company commemorate Anzac Day, Indian Ocean, 2014. Top right: Commander Task Force 150, CDRE Jeremy Blunden, RN, addresses ship's company alongside in Muscat, 2 July 2014.<br />
Bottom left: Commander Joint Task Force 633, MAJGEN Craig Orme, AM, CSC, addresses ship's company, 17 July 2014. Bottom right: CO HMAS Darwin, CMDR Terence Morrison, RAN and youngest member of ship's company, AB Combat Systems Operator Michael Crawford, cut the cake to celebrate Darwin's 30th birthday, 21 July 2014.
Top left: Darwin's ship's company form up on the flight deck to commemorate Anzac Day during a dawn service in the middle of the Indian Ocean, 25 April 2014. Top right: Commander Task Force 150, CDRE Jeremy Blunden, RN addresses ship's company during a clear lower deck, while alongside in Muscat, 2 July 2014. Bottom left: Commander Joint Task Force 633, MAJGEN Craig Orme, AM, CSC, addresses ship's company as part of their medal presentation, 17 July 2014. Bottom right: CO HMAS Darwin, CDRE Terence Morrison, RAN and the youngest member of ship's company, Able Seaman Combat Systems Operator Michael Crawford, use a ceremonial sword to cut the cake to celebrate Darwin's 30th birthday, 21 July 2014.

Darwin departed Muscat for the last time on 18 July arriving back in Sydney on 16 August having called at the Maldives, Fleet Base West and Eden during the return passage. In Sydney she commenced a well-earned leave and maintenance period before commencing a refit in September. While it was an operationally successful year for Darwin, it was also a charitably successful year with the ship’s company raising a commendable $18,000 over the course of the year for the Sir David Martin Foundation.

HMAS Darwin sails into her home port Fleet Base East, Sydney on completion of a successful seven-month deployment to the Middle East Region on Operation SLIPPER.
Top left: Darwin sails into her home port Fleet Base East on completion of a successful seven-month deployment to the Middle East Region on Operation SLIPPER.
Top centre: Able Seaman Maritime Logistics - Steward Stacey Butson. Top right: Able Seaman Maritime Logistics - Personnel Bonny Hood. Bottom left: Able Seaman Electronics Technician Thomas King. Bottom centre: Able Seaman Communication and Information Systems David Llewellyn.
Bottom centre/right: Navy News, Volume 57, No.16, 28 August 2014.
 

HMAS Darwin Part Five