Pacific, Indian Ocean Navies gather in Great Britain

Leaders of navies from across the Pacific and Indian Ocean came to Hampshire, Great Britain for a series of talks on cooperation, security and trade in the region.

The Pacific and Indian Oceans Shipping Working Group saw representatives attending from the navies of several nations including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the US.

Other attendees were from France, Norway and a sister organisation representing four South American nations.

The meeting looked at information sharing between navies in order to improve the security of trade by sea, as well as how to maintain close relations between military and civilian shipping in the two oceans.

It was also an opportunity for the navies to plan for an exercise, called Bell Buoy, which will be held in UK waters for the first time as part of Exercise Joint Warrior in the Spring.

The Royal Navy will also supply software for all the Pacific and Indian Ocean participants to interact with each other using a common platform – the first time this has ever been possible.

Chairman of the group, Commander Michael Oomen of the Royal New Zealand Navy, said: “This working group has a dual function. The first is to develop doctrine and procedures so that different navies can share information in order to help protect merchant shipping. The second is to plan for an international exercise so that those navies have an opportunity to test their procedures for sharing information.”

Held at Southwick House between January 26 and 29, the Pacific and Indian Ocean Shipping Working Group delegates were also treated to a tour of Nelson’s flagship, HMS Victory, in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.

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