HMAS Newcastle, Devastator Meet at Sea

HMAS Newcastle, Devastator Meet at Sea

HMAS Newcastle has made a rendezvous with the United States Navy’s Mine Counter Measure Ship USS Devastator in the Southern Persian (Arabian) Gulf.

Newcastle was in the area conducting maritime security patrols as part of the Combined Task Force 152, focussed on maritime security in the Arabian Gulf.

The meeting allowed members of the ship’s companies to cross decks and experience the capabilities and living conditions of a foreign warship. Newcastle’s Commanding Officer also hosted Devastator’s Captain onboard for lunch and a tour.

Leading Seaman Naval Police Coxswain Garrett Metz said his visit to the American ship gave him a broader understanding of Coalition operations in the region.

 “It was an interesting experience that highlighted the different ways you can do business at sea and the different aspects of the operations that coalition forces are taking part in here in the Gulf.

“Devastator is in the Persian Gulf to accurately study the sea floor which would make it easier to distinguish mines from natural features such as rocks and coral. Their operations are very different to ours, but we are all contributing to the same mission,” LS Metz said.

It was the second cross deck opportunity for Newcastle’s crew in as many days after conducting a similar evolution with the Royal Navy Type 45 Destroyer HMS Dragon on the previous day.

Newcastle has been deployed as part of Operation SLIPPER – the Australian Defence Force (ADF) contribution to the international campaign against terrorism, counter smuggling and counter piracy in the Gulf of Aden, and enhancing regional maritime security and engagement. Her deployment is the 55th rotation of an Australian warship to the MEAO since 1990.

Press Release, August 12, 2013; Image: Australian Navy