HMAS Darwin, HMS Somerset Crews Swap Decks
HMAS Darwin has taken advantage of a cross-deck to exchange ideas with members of the Royal Navy ship HMS Somerset while conducting maritime security patrols in the Arabian Sea.
HMAS Darwin is deployed to the Middle East Area of Operations as part of Operation Slipper’s contribution to the 30-nation Combined Maritime Forces.
Eleven Darwin sailors crossed to Somerset while nine Somerset Royal Marine Commandos moved to Darwin.
Darwin’s boarding officers, Lieutenants Joshua Maher and Benjamin McGrath, hosted the Royal Marine Commandos.
“The Marines were very receptive to our advice and were eager to learn from our previous boarding experiences,” Lieutenant Maher said.
“We also had the opportunity to display our equipment and the way we conduct business. It was an advantageous exchange of capabilities.”
Darwin’s Operations Officer, Lieutenant Commander Barton Harrington, and Gunnery Officer, Lieutenant Nicholas Paterson, were among Darwin’s party to visit Somerset.
“The cross-deck presented the opportunity to exchange ideas about Combined Maritime Force boardings at a tactical level,” Lieutenant Commander Harrington said.
“It was a highly beneficial meeting where we were able to share procedures on how we conduct our boardings.”
This is the 57th rotation of a Royal Australian Navy warship to the Middle East Area of Operations since the first Gulf War in 1990 and the 33rd deployment under Operation Slipper.
Press Release, May 28, 2014, Image: Australian Navy