HMAS Manoora was retired on Friday 27th May in a ceremony at Garden Island, Sydney. The Australian White Ensign was lowered and handed to Commanding Officer, Commander Stephen Dryden, RAN. The Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Russ Crane, AO, CSM, RAN, Commander Australian Fleet and Rear Admiral S.R. Gilmore, AM, CSC, RAN attended the ceremony.
The amphibious transport ship housed a helicopter landing pad and 40 bed hospital. The ship had supported humanitarian aid and disaster missions in the Solomon Islands and East Timor and undertaken active service in the Middle East as part of Operations Slipper and Falconer.
Commander Dryden said of the retirement of the ship:
“It is always sad to farewell a ship like Manoora, which has provided significant amphibious capability to the Australian Defence Force over her many years of service.
“Her hard work has paved the way for the future of the Navy by providing an understanding of how to carry out amphibious and expeditionary warfare.
“Today it is also important to acknowledge the hard work of the current and former crews who have called Manoora home. Their dedication has enabled the platform to respond to situations in war and peace, whenever tasked by Government to do so.”
Manoora is making way for a new capability with the first of two LHDs (amphibious assault ships) due to enter service in 2014.
Images courtesy Navy Imagery Unit – East, ABIS Dove Smithett.