HMAS Sydney crew gain exposure to future capability with US Navy

Published on SBLT Bianca Wise (author), ABIS Sarah Ebsworth (photographer)

Location(s): Fleet Base East, NSW

Topic(s): HMAS Sydney (IV)

Operations room members from USS Kidd and HMAS Sydney come together for a group photo on the forecastle of USS Kidd at Garden Island Naval Base after conducting training on the Aegis Combat System onboard USS Kidd in preparation for the Royal Australian Navy's new Hobart class Air Warfare Destroyers. (photo: ABIS Sarah Ebsworth)
Operations room members from USS Kidd and HMAS Sydney come together for a group photo on the forecastle of USS Kidd at Garden Island Naval Base after conducting training on the Aegis Combat System onboard USS Kidd in preparation for the Royal Australian Navy's new Hobart class Air Warfare Destroyers.

Members of HMAS Sydney’s crew gained invaluable exposure to the Aegis Combat System this week as they trained onboard the United States Navy Destroyer, USS Kidd, during its port visit to Fleet Base East.

The Commanding Officer of Sydney, Commander (CMDR) Karl Brinckmann highlighted the advantage gained from such an experience.

“The opportunity to gain an understanding of the Aegis Combat System through live training onboard one of the US Navy’s leading destroyers is invaluable to the crew of Sydney and more widely the RAN in the lead up to the commissioning of our own destroyers,” CMDR Brinckmann said.

The Aegis Combat System will be the central nervous system of the new Hobart class Destroyers coming into service in the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).

The Air Warfare Destroyer Program will provide the Royal Australian Navy with one of the world’s most capable all purpose warships. The Hobart class Destroyer design, coupled with the Aegis Combat System, ensures tomorrow’s Navy has the best equipment to defend Australia and its national interests.

The Aegis Combat System, incorporating the state-of-the-art phased array radar, AN/SPY 1D(V), in combination with the SM-2 missile, will provide an advanced air defence system capable of engaging enemy aircraft and missiles at ranges in excess of 150 kilometres.

Sydney’s Direction Officer, Lieutenant Commander (LCDR) Marc Beecroft credited the United States Navy members for their professionalism during the training of the Australian ship’s company.

“The professionalism and knowledge shown was a real credit to the USN and allowed us to gain a valuable insight into how the operations room of HMAS Hobart could be managed to take full advantage of the capabilities of this system.”

USS Kidd marks the fourth school ship visit between the US Navy Arleigh Burke Class Destroyers and the Royal Australian Navy.

“It is a great honour to be selected to participate in this important training opportunity with the RAN and particularly the crew of HMAS Sydney,” said Commander Gabe Varela, Commanding Officer of USS Kidd.

“The RAN’s choice to fully integrate the Aegis Combat System into their newest ships marks a significant step of even greater interoperability between our military forces.”

Working alongside the US Navy is a familiar occurrence in particular for the crew of Sydney following their 2013 embed with the George Washington Carrier Group.

The timely visit this week from USS Kidd coincides with the keel laying ceremony for NUSHIP Brisbane, the second of the RAN’s three planned Hobart class Destroyers, in Adelaide.

Imagery is available on the Australian Defence Image Library at http://images.defence.gov.au/S20140191.