HMAS Perth Ready for Action

HMAS Perth Ready for Action

The upgraded Anzac Class frigate HMAS Perth is ready for action after recently completing a successful Unit Readiness Evaluation (URE) that tested the crew’s competence across all aspects of ship operations.

Navy’s Sea Training Group—a team comprised of specialists from all ship borne disciplines—embarked inPerth to train and mentor the crew as they worked toward this important training milestone.

HMAS Perth Commanding Officer, Captain Lee Goddard, describes the achievement of a URE as a vote of confidence in the ship and its crew.

“The Unit Readiness Evaluation is about demonstrating to ourselves and to the Commander of the Australian Fleet that our training has reached a point that we are ‘ready for action’.

“It’s a formal recognition that we have demonstrated that we know our jobs individually, as teams within the ship and that the whole ship’s company is working together as one big team to make HMAS Perth a formidable fighting ship,” Captain Goddard said.

Achieving Unit Readiness is something that all ships must do. It’s not an easy process and can take several months, beginning with a program of low level training designed to establish or refresh skills in individual crew members and ship departments, and then developing those skills until the whole ship works together as an effective fighting unit.

It includes war fighting – defending against airborne, surface and sub-surface threats – using the ship’s torpedoes, missiles and 5-inch gun, along with damage control, fire fighting and responding to toxic hazards and other emergencies.

Traditional seamanship skills including navigation, manoeuvring, ship handling and small boat operations were tested, as were the ship’s communications, weapons and sensor maintenance and engineering teams. The vital support people such as cooks, stewards, medics, and administrators were also evaluated.

Perth’s ability to operate in close proximity with other ships, and to safely embark and operate a helicopter have also been tested and proven.

“Our training effort to achieve this evaluation has been a four month journey, which has been interspersed with an intensive trails program on data link and combat system components associated with the Anti-Ship Missile Defence upgrade.

“A lot of high-end trials and training milestones have been set for this ship and they’ve all been met because of the goodwill and focus of the ship’s company, who have engaged external contractors and stakeholders well and worked together well.

“The crew has worked extremely hard and I was very proud of them when we were told we had achieved the standard that the Fleet Commander requires of us,” Captain Goddard said.

Having been declared ‘ready for action’, Perth has headed for the north Queensland coast in company with the Spanish combat support ship ESPS Cantabria to participate in international exercises before transiting to the Pacific Missile Range Facility off Hawaii for further tests of her upgraded missile defence systems.

Press Release, July 25, 2013; Image: Australian Navy