Darwin and Somerset meet up at sea

Published on ABIS Sarah Williams (author and photographer)

Topic(s): Operation SLIPPER, HMAS Darwin (F04)

HMAS Darwin's boarding party officers, Lieutenant Benjamin McGrath (right) and Lieutenant Joshua Maher discuss lessons learnt from previous boardings with members of HMS Somerset's boarding party. (photo: ABIS Sarah Williams)
HMAS Darwin's boarding party officers, Lieutenant Benjamin McGrath (right) and Lieutenant Joshua Maher discuss lessons learnt from previous boardings with members of HMS Somerset's boarding party.

HMAS Darwin has taken advantage of a cross-deck to exchange ideas with members of the Royal Navy ship HMS Somerset while conducting maritime security patrols in the Arabian Sea.

Eleven Darwin sailors crossed to Somerset while nine Somerset Royal Marine Commandos moved to Darwin.

Darwin’s boarding officers, Lieutenant Joshua Maher and Lieutenant Benjamin McGrath hosted the Royal Marine Commandos.

A Royal Marine from HMS Somerset disembarks HMAS Darwin on completion of a cross deck of personnel between the two ships.

A Royal Marine from HMS Somerset disembarks HMAS Darwin on completion of a cross deck of personnel between the two ships.

“The Marines were very receptive to our advice and were eager to learn from our previous boarding experiences,” Lieutenant Maher said.

“We also had the opportunity to display our equipment and the way we conduct business, it was an advantageous exchange of capabilities.”

Darwin’s Operations Officer, Lieutenant Commander Barton Harrington and Gunnery Officer Lieutenant Nicholas Paterson were among Darwin’s party to visit Somerset.

“The cross deck presented the opportunity to exchange ideas about Combined Maritime Force boardings at a tactical level,” Lieutenant Commander Harrington said.

“It was a highly beneficial meeting where we were able to share procedures on how we conduct our boardings.”

HMAS Darwin is deployed to the Middle East Area of Operations (MEAO) as part of Operation SLIPPER’s contribution to the 30 nation Combined Maritime Forces.

This is the 57th rotation of a Royal Australian Navy warship to the MEAO since the first Gulf War in 1990 and the 33rd deployment under Operation SLIPPER.

Imagery is available on the Royal Australian Navy Image Library at http://images.navy.gov.au/S20141500.