Royal Australian Navy Ships Exercise off Darwin

Royal Australian Navy Ships Exercise off Darwin

Dundee Beach, south of Darwin was the venue on Friday for the culmination of two weeks of training for seven Royal Australian Navy ships participating in Exercise TRITON THUNDER 01-12.

HMA Ships Ararat, Larrakia, Diamantina, Gascoyne, Balikpapan, Shepparton, Benalla, AS350BA Squirrel Helicopters from Navy’s 723 Squadron joined Landing Craft and Unimog trucks operated by Army’s 36 Water Transport Troop in the maritime exercise.

Exercise TRITON THUNDER 01-12 included forums and exercise scenarios at HMAS Coonawarra, as well as collective in-company training at sea and ashore in the Northern Australian Exercise Area.

Commander Sea Training, Minor War Vessels, Commander Alex Hawes, said the training was multi-faceted and extremely valuable.

“The sea phase involved training in maritime warfare, navigation, amphibious operations, aviation operations and combat survivability. It all culminated in a major beach extraction serial at Dundee Beach on Thursday,” said Commander Hawes.

“This exercise has re-affirmed our interoperability with Army in the northern part of Australia and our confidence that Navy’s fleet of minor war vessels is always ready to respond.”

Commander Hawes also praised the Army’s contribution to the success of the exercise, which he said ‘provided a challenging opportunity for Navy and Army to coordinate tactical asset delivery to achieve a realistic strategic outcome.’

“This exercise follows a long history of amphibious operations by the Australian Defence Force that will soon evolve into the formidable new capability to be provided by the acquisition of the Canberra Class Landing Helicopter Docks (LHDs)” said Commander Hawes.

Exercise TRITON THUNDER is conducted bi-annually in Northern Australian waters.

Naval Today Staff, May 22, 2012; Image: Australian Navy