RAN Ships Participate in Exercise New Horizon 11

RAN Ships Participate in Exercise New Horizon 11

From the 21th to 26th of November HMA Ships Warramunga (Commander Michael Turner) and Sirius (Commander David McDonald) participated in Exercise New Horizon 11 with Indonesian warships KRI Frans Kaisiepo and KRI Halim Perdanakususma.

The exercise consisted of a Harbour Phase and a Sea Phase, conducted alongside at Surabaya and in the Java Sea, North of Surabaya, Indonesia. It was the first time that New Horizon had been conducted since 1999.

The aim of New Horizon was to strengthen relationships and enhance mutual cooperation, interoperability and understanding between the officers and sailors of the Indonesian navy and the Royal Australian Navy, especially in major fleet operations. Exercise New Horizon provided the opportunity for both Navies to improve their interoperability and mutual understanding in common aspects of naval warfare and maritime security. A number of serials including a Flying serial which featured the first cross deck by the Indonesian NB 405 helicopter, Boarding serials, Close Range gunnery, replenishment operations and Officer of the Watch manoeuvres and voice drills were conducted during the period.

The commitment of both countries was shown with the shore phase of the exercise being attended by Senior Naval Officers of both countries, including the Australian Fleet Commander Rear Admiral Steve Gilmore AM, CSC, RAN, The Indonesian Vice Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Marsetio and the Indonesian Eastern Fleet Commander Rear Admiral Supandi.

Commanding Officer of Warramunga Commander Michael Turner said the opportunity to work alongside a close regional partner was of great benefit to both Navies.

He said on the visit and exercise “The relationship between the Royal Australian Navy and the Indonesian Navy is very strong, and based on professional respect and friendship. We have been working hard together to deepen our partnership across a broad range of naval and security matters including strategic level discussions, training and education, exercises and operational cooperation. We value the important role the Indonesian Navy plays in regional maritime security, and we look forward to an even closer operational partnership with Indonesia, our closest neighbour and a country with which we share similar security issues. The opportunity to experience the cultural diversity and hospitality of the Indonesian people as well as witness the natural beauty of Indonesia, further enhances the occasion of our visit”

Over the exercise both RAN and Indonesian Navy personnel also took part in a personnel exchange programme, with the experience enjoyed by all participants. It was evident from all personnel that the relationship between the Indonesian Navy and RAN is strong, and will continue to strengthen.

The RAN members lucky enough to cross deck to the Indonesian warships experienced a significant difference to their normal lives on board Warramunga and Sirius, of particular note was the Indonesian evening pastime of Karaoke. The crew of KRI Frans Kaisiepo particularly enjoyed Warramunga’s Leading Seaman Tristan Smith’s rendition of David Bowie’s 1969 hit “Space Oddity”.

The Exercise was considered a success by all involved, with the aims being met and a number of lessons learnt, with highlights providing insight into the planning and procedure of future exercises or joint operations between the two navies. It is a strong foundation from which to grow.

Naval Today Staff, December 04, 2011; Image: navy