Australian Navy exercises with French and Spanish warships

Published on LEUT Vaoafi Hart (author), LEUT Christopher Thornton (author)

Topic(s): Training, HMAS Parramatta (F154), HMAS Success (OR 304)

FNS Mistral (left) and ESPS Cristobal Colon exercised with HMA Ships Success and Parramatta in waters to the north of Australia recently. (photo: Unknown)
FNS Mistral (left) and ESPS Cristobal Colon exercised with HMA Ships Success and Parramatta in waters to the north of Australia recently.

HMA Ships Success and Parramatta conducted a unique international engagement with French Navy Ships Mistral and Courbet as well as the Spanish Armada's Cristobal Colon in waters to the north of Darwin recently.
 
The ships conducted a number of exercises including replenishment at sea approaches, a skill required by all warships requiring fuel, provisions or personnel while underway.
 
Commanding Officer Success Commander Grant Zilko said the exercises improved interoperability between each navy.
 
"Interacting with other navies in this manner strengthens ties between nations and allows us to understand different defence capabilities," he said.
 
Mistral
 and Courbet were in the north of Australia as part of their Mission Jeanne d’Arc 2017, a five-month training deployment for 137 junior officers.
 
Cristobal Colon
 is providing platform and familiarisation training to Australian personnel that are about to embark on NUSHIP Hobart, Australia’s soon-to-be commissioned Aegis Guided Missile Destroyer.
 
Ensign Jose Rico from Cristobal Colon commented on the similarities between the navies. 
 
“It was very interesting to see the different procedures and processes between our navies as we ultimately achieve the same outcomes, we just have different ways of accomplishing them.
 
“Furthermore, I really enjoyed the hospitality from the crew onboard and I was made to feel very welcome from the moment I stepped onboard,” he said.
 
Success
 Officer of the Watch Lieutenant Hannah Phelps said international exercises allowed navies to learn from each other and improve warfighting skills.
 
“This was a great opportunity for us to all work together and to hone our mariner skills,” Lieutenant Phelps said.
 
Able Seaman Boatswains Mate Jessica Christen was among a few crew members from Success that got the opportunity to cross deck and spend a day to explore Cristobal Colon.
 
“It was great to see how another navy works. The ship was spacious, everyone was friendly and the food was delicious," she said.
 
Success
 is currently preparing for Exercise TALISMAN SABRE 2017, a biennial combined Australian and United States training activity.