Advertisement

Royal Australian Navy's Longest Serving Ship Decommissioned After 33 Years Of Service

HMAS Success, the Royal Australian Navy’s longest serving ship, will pull into Sydney Harbour for the last time Sunday morning -- finishing 33 years of service.

The Success was the last ship to be fully built at Sydney’s Cockatoo Island dockyard before being commissioned in 1986.

The 18,000 fuel replenishment ship has steamed more than one million nautical miles, carried out nearly 3500 fuel and food supplies and has received battle honours for her involvement in the Gulf War and East Timor.

She even helped search for missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370.

Her 23rd and final Commanding Officer, Captain Darren Grogan, told 10 News First he’s got “mixed emotions” about the final voyage home because it will mean the end of the First Lady of the Fleet.

“It’s weird that everything we do is for the last time now, even though everything we are doing is at the top of our game,” he said.

“Success was here was when I joined the Navy 31 years ago.”

He said among sailors she’s fondly known as the ‘The Battle Tanker’ -- a nickname that stemmed from friendly ribbing among the fleet.

“Those on the warships say they’ve got the guns, missiles and torpedoes. We have none of those, but we have the fuel to get them to the war…the warships rely on us to get anywhere,” he explained.

To mark her final voyage, nine of her former commanding officers jumped on board the ship on Saturday night to be a part of her last night at sea and to see her return home to Garden Island.