HMAS Arunta visited Bahrain for her first port visit after commencing operations in the Middle East honing their skills for future patrols.
The visit provided an opportunity for Arunta’s boarding parties to conduct training with the United States Coast Guard and agents from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service at the US Coast Guard Patrol Forces Southwest Asia Training Facility in Bahrain.
Working from the purpose-built and life-like training facilities, the US teams gave in-depth briefings and hands-on training using specialised search equipment.
Leading Seaman Marine Technician Christopher McDougal felt the training provided a realistic experience.
“The training was extremely helpful, especially being able to conduct deeper level searches on an actual fishing dhow,” Leading Seaman McDougal said.
Chief Petty Officer Chris Ramirez, from the United States Coast Guard said the enthusiasm from both boarding parties led to a very effective training environment.
“We love having the Australian Navy here, the sailors were so engaging, asking questions and getting involved,” Chief Petty Officer Ramirez said.
Lieutenant Jahan Barr, one of Arunta's Boarding Party Officers found the training really useful, as they begin patrolling in the Middle East.
“The training and experience gained from operating with the Coast Guard gives us increased confidence to successfully carry out our duties professionally and more importantly, safely,” Lieutenant Barr said.
The training coincided with a visit from Australia's Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Tim Barrett, who was taken through a boarding exercise by Leading Seaman Boatswains Mate Christopher Lindeman.
HMAS Arunta deployed from Garden Island, Rockingham, Western Australia, in early November and is the 64th Royal Australian Navy ship to be deployed to the region since 1990. Arunta operates as part of the multi-national Combined Maritime Forces, supporting international efforts to promote maritime security, stability and prosperity in the region.