Australia kicks off final week of Ocean Raider

Australian warships, submarines and aircraft are converging on Bass Strait for the final week of exercise Ocean Raider, one of the Royal Australian Navy’s largest maritime warfare activities.

HMAS Adelaide lead six ships south from Sydney, while HMAS Warramunga and two submarines sailed from Western Australia.

HMAS Darwin is also en route after completing her disaster relief duties in New Zealand.

Under the exercise scenario, the assets will be split into two forces on arrival and then commence a series of free play war games.

Commander Mark Sirois is the Commanding Officer of HMAS Newcastle, one of the guided missile frigates sailing to the strait with Adelaide.

He said Ocean Raider is part of Navy’s push to generate and deploy task groups capable of accomplishing the spectrum of maritime security operations by 2018.

“Task group warfare is like team sport: you can have a team of champions or a champion team,” he said.

“The training we are conducting in Bass Strait is aimed at bringing together a group of individually successful fleet units and training them to work better as a team, capable of acting as a single force to fight and win at sea,” Commander Sirois said.

Bass Strait, one of Australia’s most challenging waterways, was chosen as the location for Ocean Raider to test the fleet’s ability to operate under all conditions.

Exercise Ocean Raider involves 11 warships and submarines, aircraft and more than 1,500 personnel from Australia in a three week program of maritime activities.

It is the first year Navy has staged Ocean Raider, which along with Ocean Raider and Ocean Horizon is designed to train and certify the fleet in task-group-level joint sea combat.

The exercise concludes December 4.