10 October 2017
Diego Suarez welcomes first Royal Australian Navy Ship
HMAS Newcastle arrived in Diego Suarez port today, marking the first Royal Australian Navy ship to visit Madagascar since the Second World War.
Australian Naval Ships are playing an active role in supporting international maritime security efforts in the Indian Ocean region.
Newcastle has conducted several security patrols in the Indian Ocean. In June 2015, the ship conducted a goodwill visit to the Seychelles on the occasion of the country’s National Day celebrations.
The ship is currently supporting international efforts as part of the Combined Maritime Force to promote maritime security, stability and prosperity in the Middle East Region.
“It is a very special moment for us as HMAS Newcastle visits Madagascar. This visit is a testament of Australia’s commitment to maritime security in the Indian Ocean. It also provides an opportunity to remember the Australian servicemen who have been laid to rest in the Indian Ocean region”, said Australia’s Ambassador to Madagascar, HE Jenny Dee.
While in port, Newcastle’s Commanding Officer, Commander Mark Sirois, will call on local officials in Diego Suarez and will lead a Commemorative Service at the Commonwealth War Cemetery in Diego Suarez where Second World War Australian serviceman, Able Seaman John Frederick Ellis has been laid to rest.
“The crew and I are extremely excited to conduct an inaugural port visit to Madagascar and showcase Australian support to Combined Task Force 150 maritime security operations in the region. It will also be an honour to pay our respects to one of our own during the visit.”
Newcastle is the fourth of the Royal Australian Navy’s Adelaide class frigates and is a long-range escort capable of air defence, surface and undersea warfare, surveillance, reconnaissance and interdiction.