Farewell to HMAS Anzac: The Royal Australian Navy’s Longest-Serving Vessel Decommissioned

The Royal Australian Navy’s longest-serving commissioned vessel, HMAS Anzac (III), has been officially farewelled during a decommissioning ceremony over the weekend.

Launched in September 1994 and commissioned in May 1996, HMAS Anzac was the lead ship of the Anzac Class frigates. On May 18, representatives attended the decommissioning ceremony at the ship’s home port, HMAS Stirling in Perth. This marks the end of service for the third Royal Australian Navy ship to carry the storied name of Anzac.

“HMAS Anzac’s motto is ‘united we stand’ and I am very proud to say that the personnel and veterans who have served on board have stood united to protect Australia’s maritime interests within the region,” stated Chief of Navy Australia Vice Admiral Mark Hammond AO. “Thousands of men and women have called this ship home since it was commissioned in 1996, and for some, HMAS Anzac represents key milestones in their lives.”

Throughout its service, HMAS Anzac was granted freedom of entry to the City of Albany, Western Australia, the departure port for the original Anzac contingent, and maintained a close association with the City of Rockingham. The ship participated in numerous deployments and operations, most notably during its deployment to the Gulf region in October 2002. During this mission, it was part of “Five Inch Friday,” marking the first time the Royal Australian Navy engaged in combat naval gunfire support since the Vietnam War.

The decommissioning of HMAS Anzac will facilitate long-term investment in expanding and enhancing the Navy’s fleet. This decision aligns with the recommendations from the Independent Analysis of Navy’s Surface Combatant Fleet, as outlined by the Department of Defence.


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  • John Maschke May 22, 2024   Reply →

    There have been a number of other vessels that served longer than HMAS ANZAC (III). Perhaps the article should say it was one of the longest commissioned vessels in the RAN.

  • John O’Malley May 22, 2024   Reply →

    My son was an original commissioning member of HMAS Anzac

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