The Royal Australian Navy has decommissioned the Adelaide class FFG frigate, HMAS Darwin at a ceremony in Sydney on December 9.
Commissioned in 1984, Darwin has steamed more than one million nautical miles and has made port visits in more than 50 countries. The vessel has undertaken operations in the Middle East, Timor Leste, and the Solomon Islands.
“The ship and her successive companies have served Australia with distinction, being awarded battle honours three times for successful maritime security operations,” Chief of Navy, VADM Tim Barrett said. “It was the hard work and dedication of the crews who have called Darwin home that made this frigate so effective over such a long career.”
Darwin’s Commanding Officer, CMDR Phillip Henry, said lowering the Australian White Ensign for the final time closes a significant chapter in Navy’s history. “The 5,000 men and women who have served in Darwin will always carry fond memories of this ship,” he said.
“She is a good ship and we take great pride in our considerable achievements. We share this pride with many of Darwin’s past crew members who joined us to pay a final tribute to this Navy workhorse.”
After Darwin’s decommissioning, two FFGs remain in service and are scheduled to be replaced by the Hobart class DDGs in the next two years.
But Darwin may yet sail on, with reports that Poland has expressed interest in acquiring two of the RAN’s former FFGs to bolster its fleet of two ex-US Navy Perry class FFGs.