Two’s company for LHDs

Published on LEUT Andrew Ragless (author), LSIS Peter Thompson (photographer)

Location(s): Fleet Base East, Sydney, NSW

Topic(s): Fleet Base East, HMAS Canberra (L02), HMAS Adelaide (L01), Exercise RIMPAC, Indo-Pacific Endeavour, Exercise SEA EXPLORER

HMA Ships Adelaide (right) and Canberra depart Sydney Harbour, NSW (photo: LSIS Peter Thompson)
HMA Ships Adelaide (right) and Canberra depart Sydney Harbour, NSW

The Navy’s two largest ships have departed Fleet Base East in Garden Island, Sydney today bound for exercises off Australia’s east coast and northern waters. 

Landing Helicopter Docks HMA Ships Canberra and Adelaide departed simultaneously, but will soon go their separate ways to commence a series of amphibious warfare exercises and regional engagement in the South West Pacific respectively.

Canberra will join with Australian Army elements to test the latest littoral combat capabilities off the Queensland central coast.

Following a period of routine maintenance, Adelaide will spend the next few days in a 'shake down', getting her crew and embarked forces up to speed in essential navigation and mariner skills off the east coast in readiness for her largest deployment of the year.

On Monday week, Adelaide will commence her voyage across the South West Pacific bound for the Hawaiian archipelago and the largest multinational maritime warfare exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC).

Her journey, the second iteration of  Indo-Pacific Endeavour, will include port visits and regional engagement with the communities and armed forces of Tonga, Fiji, and the Solomon Islands. 

HMAS Adelaide’s Commanding Officer, Captain Jonathan Earley said his crew was highly motivated.

“We are very excited to be deploying again and representing the Royal Australian Navy in this important activity,” he said.

Meanwhile Canberra will continue to work with Australian Army elements to strengthen the ADF’s Humanitarian and Disaster Relief and amphibious warfare capabilities.

Joining forces with HMAS Choules, Canberra will participate in Exercises SEA EXPLORER and SEA RAIDER, including the embarkation and landing of Australian Army troops, helicopters, landing craft, small boats, trucks, troop carriers, and other vehicles. 

HMAS Canberra’s newest recruit, Seaman Maritime Logistics – Personnel Sinead Prewett said she was excited to get to work in the dynamic training scenarios. 

“I’ve been lucky enough to spend time in HMA Ships Adelaide and Ballarat before, but working in these complex exercises will be challenging and no doubt very rewarding,” she said.

Exercise SEA EXPLORER and SEA RAIDER will include the Australian Army’s 7th Brigade, 16th Aviation Brigade and 17th Combat Service Support Brigade.