Australian training and helicopter support ship HMAS Manoora (L 52)
By kjfitz @ 2007-02-27 14:47:41
HMAS Manoora (L 52) was acquired as a training and helicopter support ship, originally built as the Newport class tank landing ship (LST) USS Fairfax County for the U.S. Navy by the National Steel and Shipbuilding Company at San Diego in California. The ship was acquired by the Royal Australian Navy and commissioned as Manoora in 1994, for use as an amphibious transport ship. This required the ship to be extensively reconstructed, essentially making it a new vessel; the second ship of the Kanimbla class.
Manoora has seen active service in the Persian Gulf (2002, 2003) and non-combat service in The Solomon Islands (2000, 2001, 2003) and East Timor (2006).
In 2001, Manoora was involved in a diplomatic incident involving a Norwegian cargo ship, MV Tampa and a group of refugees rescued by Tampa. The refugees were transferred to Manoora, and were then transported to Nauru as part of Australia's "Pacific Solution" asylum seeker program.
Manoora undertook an extensive refit during 2004, allowing the vessel to carry the heavier M1 Abrams.