HMAS Sydney Strengthens International Bonds Across, Beyond Navy
The crew of HMAS Sydney (IV) have strengthened international bonds across and beyond the Navy during their successful port visit to Yokosuka, Japan from from October 6-15.
From hosting official funcations onboard, to cross deck opportunities and cultural tours, Sydney (IV) ship’s company enthusiastically grabbed every opportunity they were given to mix with participating nations.
LSCIS Michael Baruch made some new mates after sailing on HMAS Sydney (IV)’s host ship, JS Setogiri, for the International Fleet Review (IFR) practice day.
“I spent the day with the Japanese communicators and we exchanged flags, which is a CIS ritual we try to do in every port,” said LS Baruch.
“It’s all about coming together and getting involved with the other countries because there is nothing better than developing new relationships,” he said.
He said he broke through cultural barriers by having a laugh with his new friends.
“The Japanese think we are a pretty easy going nation, so it’s great to have a laugh with them,” he said.
“They are very hospitable and they will bend over backwards to make us feel at home.”
Currently on his first Navy deployment, MIDN Liam Northend spent the IFR practice day on Japanese Destroyer JS Umigiri.
“The way they operate on the bridge is very different to how we operate, it was very formal” said MIDN Northend.
“When slipping our berthing lines to sail, Japanese sailors ran down to the bollards and quickly repainted them, so I think we are a little bit more relaxed than them in that regard,” he said.
Cultural tours organsised by the ship were also a big hit among the crew.
AB Tanya Lohman said she jumped at the chance to visit the Imperial Palace and some ancient temples in Tokyo.
“It was a great opportunity provided by the ship to go and see the sights of Japan,” said AB Lohman.
“It was great to see the variety of new and old and it gave us a good idea of where to go later on, if we wanted to investigate further,” she said.
“The Sensou-Ji Temple was fantastic and the market shopping around the temple was amazing as well.”
Sydney (IV) is scheduled to return to Yokosuka in 2013 to embed with the US 7th Fleet.
Naval Today Staff,October 15, 2012; Image: Australian Navy