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Australian frigate joins US-led Maritime Security Construct in Persian Gulf

HMAS Toowoomba
HMAS Toowoomba in Bahrain. Photo: Royal Australian Navy

Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Toowoomba has arrived in Bahrain to start operations in the Middle East under the Australian government’s operation Manitou.

One of the tasks of the Anzac-class frigate as part of the operation will be to support the International Maritime Security Construct (IMSC) in its mission to ensure freedom of navigation through the Strait of Hormuz.

IMSC was established by the US in late 2019 following a series of attacks on merchant ships in the region. The operation was immediately joined by Royal Navy ships, and this is the first time Australian navy ships are contributing.

Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC, said HMAS Toowoomba would play a vital role alongside coalition partners and perform key roles such as counter-terrorism, preventing piracy and ensuring freedom of navigation.

“Under the International Maritime Security Construct, HMAS Toowoomba will work with a range of international partners to monitor and deter destabilising activity and support the safe passage of commercial and civilian shipping in the Middle East region,” Minister Reynolds said.

“HMAS Toowoomba will also support the Combined Maritime Forces through Combined Task Force 150 (CTF 150), which Australia currently commands.

This will be the Royal Australian Navy’s 68th deployment to the Middle East Region since 1990 and the sixth mission for HMAS Toowoomba.

Commander of Combined Task Force 150, Commodore Ray Leggatt, said Toowoomba’s professional and motivated crew is looking forward to working in direct support of CTF 150.

“Royal Australian Navy vessels have a successful history working with CTF 150 on previous deployments and I am confident that this deployment will be no different,” Commodore Leggatt said.

On her way to Bahrain, HMAS Toowoomba conducted a transit of the Strait of Hormuz with the United Kingdom Royal Navy Type 45 destroyer HMS Defender.