NEWS

Australian Navy Ship Returns Home After 9 Months In Middle East

The ship docked in Perth around midday Sunday.

23/07/2017 6:32 PM AEST | Updated 23/07/2017 6:32 PM AEST
Reuters Photographer / Reuters
HMAS Arunta is part of global maritime security operation, Operation Manitou.

HMAS Arunta has been welcomed into Perth by a crowd of almost 1,000 supporters after returning from the Middle East on counter-terrorism and marine security operations.

The crew arrived in Perth's Garden Island after nine months -- completing the longest deployment in the Middle East by the Royal Australian Navy since 1990.

The frigate and 191 ship personnel successfully seized more than 1,300 kilograms of illegal drugs including hashish and heroin during their deployment, amounting to more than $186 million.

HMAS Arunta's Commanding Officer, Cameron Steil, told the ABC the support of loved ones made the return home all the more special.

"Having nearly a thousand members of close family and friends on the jetty when we come back shows just how missed we were," Steil said.

"They're our support, they're our resilience, they're the people that make us able to do deployments like these."

Steil acknowledged the work of crew members despite a long deployment.

"The ship's company have been absolutely superb through what has been quite the adventure.

"Nine months is a push but it certainly is achievable."

HMAS Arunta was working as part of Operation Manitou, a global security operation to support international efforts promoting marine security and stability in the Middle East.

The vessel reportedly travelled more than 33,000 nautical miles (61,000 kilometres) during the nine-month deployment.

The sailors on-board HMAS Arunta are expected to return to duties closer to home after a break.

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