The three frigates and two mine hunters will conduct live firings, seamanship exercises, boarding training as well as anti-aircraft exercises and mine hunting off the east coast of Jervis Bay, before sailing south to Tasmania.
During the exercise, HMA Ships Darwin, Ballarat and Parramatta will integrate with RAAF aircraft including Hawks, F/A-18s, AP-3C Orions and Wedgetails during anti-aircraft serials.
Coastal mine hunters, HMA Ships Diamantina and Gascoyne, will also operate in Jervis Bay, testing crews’ abilities to search for, detect and classify mock mines. Collectively, all units will be tested on their preparedness for various warfare serials within the strict environmental and safety guidelines used within Navy.
As the lead ship for the exercise, HMAS Parramatta’s crew are anticipating a busy period Commanding Officer Commander Heath Robertson said.
“My ship’s company is ready to take on all the challenges of 2011. Operating in company with other ships and with the support of the Air Force, it is an exciting start to the year. It will allow us to practice our core skills to prepare us for any eventuality,” he said.
“The months of planning and the ability of each of our sailors really comes into play when you are operating 3500-tonne warships within 500 yards of each other. Life at sea can be a risky enterprise, so we train to keep our sailors prepared and safe.”
As part of the exercise, the task group will transit to various ports in Tasmania to mark Tasmanian Navy Week; the key celebrations will be held between 11-14 February.