HMAS Brisbane’s French connection

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Ryan Zerbe (author), ABML-S Sittichai Sakonpoonpol (photographer), ABEW Cameron Paniagua (photographer), FNS Photographer (photographer)

Location(s): Noumea, New Caledonia

Topic(s): HMAS Brisbane (D41)

FNS Vendemiaire's Boarding Team and HMAS Brisbane's Boarding Team on completion of a boarding exercise. (photo: ABEW Cameron Paniagua)
FNS Vendemiaire's Boarding Team and HMAS Brisbane's Boarding Team on completion of a boarding exercise.

HMAS Brisbane (III) has used a long transit across the Pacific Ocean to rendezvous with the French Marine Nationale warship FNS Vendemiaire for joint training.

The Australian Guided Missile Destroyer and French Light Patrol Frigate met in the waters of Noumea, New Caledonia where Vendemiaire is based.

The crews practiced Officer of the Watch manoeuvres, flying serials with Vendemiaire’s Alouette helicopter and boarding party training with a number of French also personnel stepping aboard Navy’s newest warship for a tour.

While in Noumea, Brisbane also hosted Brigadier General Frank Barrera, Commander of the French Armed Forces in New Caledonia and other senior military personnel on board.

HMAS Brisbane and FNS Vendemiaire conducting Officer of the Watch manoeuvres during a recent PASSEX off the coast of Noumea. (Image by FNS Photographer)

HMAS Brisbane and FNS Vendemiaire conducting Officer of the Watch manoeuvres during a recent PASSEX off the coast of Noumea. (Image by FNS Photographer)

Brisbane’s Commanding Officer, Commander Josh Wilson, found the opportunity to work with the French very rewarding.

“It was a great experience to be able to work with such a professional and motivated ship.

“This interaction is important in strengthening the relationship between our two nations and ensuring our regional stability.

“The long-standing presence of the Marine Nationale in New Caledonia makes France an important Pacific neighbour and ally in the region,” Commander Wilson said.

Leading Seaman Communication Information Systems Brad Harricks said it was great to be able to be able to see how another navy operates.

“I really enjoyed being able to cross deck onto a French warship and the hospitality they showed us,” Leading Seaman Harricks said.

“Working with the Marine Nationale and experiencing a different a culture is important in building our interoperability with other Navies.”

HMAS Brisbane commissioned in late 2018 and will spend the rest of this year in the United States proving her weapons systems with a series of live firings.