Australia Sends the HMAS Arunta to Operation Manitou


12/02/2016: HMAS Arunta and her ship’s company of 191 departed HMAS Stirling naval base at Rockingham, Western Australia for Operation MANITOU in the Middle East Region.

This is Arunta’s 3rd deployment to the area and the first time a ship will be deployed for nine months.

HMAS Arunta and her ship’s company of 191 departed HMAS Stirling naval base at Rockingham, Western Australia for Operation MANITOU in the Middle East Region.
Family and friends gathered on the wharf along with Commander Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Stuart Mayer to farewell the crew who will deploy for around nine months.

Commander Cameron Steil, HMAS Arunta Commanding Officer, said the deployment will be long but important.

“We are the first ship deployed to Operation MANITOU for close to nine-months.  We have trained hard and are well prepared for our mission,” Commander Steil said.

“During this time, we will conduct maritime security operations as part of multi-national Combined Maritime Forces, including deterring terrorists and the trade of narcotics that fund them.

“It is very hard to say good bye to our loved ones, especially with Christmas around the corner, but we are equipped and focused.

“To our family and friends, thanks for getting us to where we are today. We are only here because of your support. We will stay in touch and can’t wait to see you on completion of our mission,” he said.

Commander Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Stuart Mayer said Australian warships have made significant contributions to global security through service in the Middle East.

“Arunta is the 64th Royal Australian Navy fleet unit to deploy to the Middle East since 1990. In that time, many ships have made the trip in the nation’s interest,” Rear Admiral Mayer said.

“Navy personnel continue to make a difference, enhancing security, fostering trade and commerce in support of the Government’s aims.”

Operation MANITOU is Australia’s contribution to counter terrorism, counter piracy, narcotics interdiction and contributes significantly to stability to that region, the Persian Gulf, the Gulf of Aden, the Red Sea and parts of the Indian Ocean.

Credit: Australian Ministry of Defense:11/14/16

Operation MANITOU

Contributing to stable, rules-based global security is one of Australia’s national objectives. Since 1990, the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) has conducted maritime security operations in the Middle East Region, which remains strategically important to Australia’s economic and trade interests.

Operation MANITOU is the current name for the Australian Government’s contribution to support international efforts to promote maritime security, stability and prosperity in the Middle East Region (MER). An enhanced security environment ensures Australia’s safe and open access to the region while fostering trade and commerce.

Operation MANITOU is under command of Joint Task Force 633 (JTF633), which is the Australian National HQ in the Middle East Region. The Royal Australian Navy routinely sends a Major Fleet Unit (MFU) to the MER for assignment to Combined Maritime Forces (CMF).

Combined Maritime Forces is composed of thirty one nations and has three principle task forces:

  • Combined Task Force 150, which conducts counter-terrorism and maritime security operations
  • Combined Task Force 151, which conducts counter piracy operations
  • Combined Task Force 152, which conducts Arabian Gulf maritime security operations.

The Australian Defence Organisation also provides a small staff that is permanently embedded within the Combined Maritime Forces Headquarters. This team, which presently comprises eight Royal Australian Navy personnel and one DSTG scientist, also undertakes the role of the Maritime Operations Support Group.

The Royal Australian Navy also provides an International Liaison Officer for the UK Maritime Trade Operations Office and continues to deploy a major fleet unit (MFU) on a four-month rotation within the Middle East Region.