In preparation for Exercise KAKADU 2014 , HMAS Sydney and Japanese Navy Ship JS Hatakaze conducted a Passage Exercise (PASSEX) en route to Darwin 22-24 August 2014.
Throughout the time 'in company' together, the ships conducted Officer of the Watch Manoeuvres (OOWMANS), Replenishment at Sea Approaches (RASAPS), visual signalling exercises, publication exercises (SYNTEX), Screenplay and Night Steaming In Company (NSIC).
There was also an opportunity for a personnel exchange between the units, with six members of Sydney being fortunate enough to cross deck to Hatakaze and enjoy a day in the life of a Japanese sailor.
Midshipman Bejamin Fenwick described the warm welcome the Australian visitors received, noting how impressed they were with ship's cleanliness, equipment and the hospitality of their hosts.
“It was interesting to see how the Japanese Navy operated, compared to the Australian way of doing things.
“I particularly enjoyed the tour of the upperdecks and the bridge,” Midshipman Fenwick said.
Among the Japanese sailors who cross-decked to Sydney were 16 members of the Japanese Boarding Team (VBSS Team) and their VBSS Senior instructor.
While onboard, the VBSS Team conducted training serials with Sydney’s own Boarding Party, including demonstrations of each nation’s boarding procedures, including restraints, searches, use of force demonstrations and weapon security.
The VBSS Team Leader, Lieutenant (Junior Grade) Kenta Miyao also demonstrated some basic Japanese Military self-defence techniques.
On completion of these activities, the Japanese guests were taken on a ship's tour by the Sydney Boarding Team.
Lieutenant Naomi Gammon, Boarding Officer Sydney, was pleased to be able to share knowledge with Japanese counterparts.
“It was really good to compare the varying techniques and methods of both Boarding Teams and a great opportunity to see the differences between the equipment and how we use this capability,” Lieutenant Gammon said.
The PASSEX concluded with a formation entry into Darwin Harbour.
Hatakaze and Sydney will continue to work together with other warships and aircraft throughout Exercise KAKADU 2014 off Darwin .