The Royal Australian Navy has decommissioned its first Armidale class patrol boat (ACPB) in a ceremony at Darwin.
HMAS Pirie was commissioned in 2006, and is the first of the 15 ACPBs to be retired from service as the RAN prepares to take delivery of additional Cape class patrol boats and to introduce the new Arafura class offshore patrol vessels from 2022.
“HMAS Pirie and her ship’s company have lived up to the ship’s motto ‘Mark of Quality’,” Chief of Navy VADM Mike Noonan said in a statement. “They have served the people of Australia, protecting our nation’s borders and offshore maritime interests with dedication and professionalism. Today, we reflect on their contribution and look to our future.
The vessel’s commanding officer, LTCDR 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.”
One other ACPB – HMAS Bundaberg – was decommissioned in December 2014 after it was deemed to be a loss following an August 2014 fire at a civilian shipyard in Brisbane.