HMAS Darwin ready for duty

This article has photo gallery Published on LCDR Jason O'Gorman (author), CPL Mark Doran (photographer), ABIS Sarah Ebsworth (photographer)

Location(s): Manama, Bahrain

(R-L) Royal Australian Navy officer Commander Phillip Henry, Commanding Officer HMAS Darwin, welcomes Vice Admiral David Johnston, Chief of Joint Operations, aboard the warship during his visit to the Naval Support Activity in Manama, Bahrain, on 19 February 2016. (photo: Corporal Mark Doran)
(R-L) Royal Australian Navy officer Commander Phillip Henry, Commanding Officer HMAS Darwin, welcomes Vice Admiral David Johnston, Chief of Joint Operations, aboard the warship during his visit to the Naval Support Activity in Manama, Bahrain, on 19 February 2016.

The crew of HMAS Darwin has benefited from mission-specific training in the Kingdom of Bahrain, prior to setting out on the ship’s first patrol as part of Operation MANITOU.

The training focused primarily on boarding techniques, which included searching, intelligence gathering and security.

Members of the United States Navy Criminal Investigation Service and Coast Guard provided Darwin with up to date information regarding their new area of operations.

According to Lieutenant Josh Cowell, the activity consolidated the training the crew received prior to departing Australia.

“The training we received in the second half of 2015 helped Darwin gel as a team and prepared personnel for extended periods at sea performing a variety of tasks,” he said.

“The briefings in Bahrain are more specific and informed us how to we can coordinate with the Combined Maritime Forces to ensure our effectiveness is maximised for Operation MANITOU.”

The Combined Maritime Forces is a multi-national military partnership, presently comprising 31 nations, which exists to promote security, stability and prosperity across approximately 2.5 million square miles of international waters, which encompass some of the world’s most important shipping lanes.

The Forces counter violent extremism and terrorist networks in maritime areas of responsibility, working with regional and other partners to improve overall security and stability, helping strengthen regional nations’ maritime capabilities and, when requested, responding to environmental and humanitarian crises.

During the port visit Combined Maritime Forces personnel introduced themselves to their opposite numbers onboard Darwin, and outlined processes and procedures and what Darwin’s crew could expect to while on patrol in the Middle Eastern region.

To mark the commencement of the ship’s first patrol Chief Joint Operations, Vice Admiral David Johnston, visited the ship in Bahrain while Commander Joint Task Force 633, Air Vice-Marshall Tim Innes, spent 24-hours onboard the ship, meeting with the crew and receiving operational briefs.

Darwin is currently operating in support of Combined Task Force 150 which is focused on counter-terrorism and maritime security.