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History of the Ex-HMAS Tobruk

Ex-HMAS Tobruk was launched on 1 March 1980 by Lady Anna Cowan, as the Royal Australian Navy's first purpose built amphibious heavy lift ship.

During her distinguished 34-year long career, ex-HMAS Tobruk provided heavy-lift capabilities to transport equipment and personnel to and from Australian and foreign shores. With two helictoper decks, a tank deck, a vehicle deck and a roll on/roll off function, she was an imperative part of the Royal Australian Navy fleet.

Ex-HMAS Tobruk could transport up to 18 tanks in the tank deck, and could provide accommodation for up to 520 troops. Her first overseas deployment was to Ashdod, Israel in 1982. Ex-HMAS Tobruk embarked eight helicopters, as well as stores and equipment to assist the Royal Australian Air Force as part of a peace treaty between Egypt and Israel.

The ship filled her passport with countless international ports, providing humanitarian aid to foreign countries. She supported cyclone affected Tonga and Vanuatu following the devastation of Tropical Cyclone Isaac in 1982, and Vanuatu again in the wake of Tropical Cyclone Pam in 2015. She also participated in Samoa and Tonga in response to a devestating tsunami in 2008.

She was decommisioned on 31 July 2015 and towed to Bundaberg Port in December 2016 to begin preparations for scuttling. The legacy of Ex-HMAS Tobruk will continue to be shared through the stories told by her crew, and through her new purpose deep beneath the ocean's surface.

 

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