The Royal Australian Navy has decommissioned Armidale-class patrol boat HMAS Pirie after 15 years of service.
Pirie is the first of two patrol boats in its class to be decommissioned this year as the navy prepares to transition to 12 Arafura-class offshore patrol vessels.
Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Michael Noonan, AO, RAN addressed the ceremony at HMAS Coonawarra Darwin on March 26 and recognized the valuable contribution made by the men and women who have served in Pirie.
“HMAS Pirie and her ship’s company have lived up to the ship’s motto “mark of quality.” They have served the people of Australia, protecting our nation’s borders and offshore maritime interests with dedication and professionalism,” Vice Admiral Noonan said.
“Today, we reflect on their contribution and look to our future.
“The new Arafura Class offshore patrol vessels will provide a significant increase in capability and enhance our capacity to patrol our maritime territory and near region.”
HMAS Pirie commanding officer Lieutenant Commander Sean Dalton said it had been a privilege bringing Pirie and her crew home for the last time.
“Pirie has sailed more than 426,000 nautical miles in her lifetime, travelling from as far east as Samoa, west to the Cocos Keeling Islands, south to the Bass Strait, and as far north as Qingdao, China,” Lieutenant Commander Dalton said.
Throughout her commission, Pirie conducted intercept and control of both foreign fishing vessels and suspected irregular entry vessels, along with regularly providing support to the civil community. She has also taken part in diplomatic, ceremonial and commemorative events with Australia’s regional partners.