Success ‘boarded’ during Bay of Bengal exercise

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Gary McHugh (author), LSIS Kylie Jagiello (photographer)

Topic(s): Exercise AUSINDEX, HMAS Success (OR 304), Indo-Pacific Endeavour

Indian Navy sailors from INS Sahyadri and Royal Australian Navy sailors from HMAS Parramatta on the flight deck of HMAS Success during boarding party exercises as part of AUSINDEX 2019. (photo: LSIS Kylie Jagiello)
Indian Navy sailors from INS Sahyadri and Royal Australian Navy sailors from HMAS Parramatta on the flight deck of HMAS Success during boarding party exercises as part of AUSINDEX 2019.

HMAS Success was repeatedly ‘boarded’ in the Bay of Bengal by a number of Australian and Indian boarding parties as part of AUSINDEX 2019.

The boarding parties, from ships in company with Success, enacted a number of scenarios once onboard. They were both aided and hindered by role players of the tanker’s ship’s company.

Success's Boarding Officer, Lieutenant Sven Howorth, said such scenarios were designed not only to continue the training experience of the personnel carrying out the boardings, but were also valuable for members of Success’s own boarding party.

“While it’s rare that Success would be carrying out a boarding on another vessel, it is important that the ship’s boarding party is well-versed in these evolutions,” Lieutenant Howorth said.

“Like other ships, we train regularly to keep our skills up to scratch, and [the] exercise gave us a look from the other side of the equation.”

Boarding parties from HMAS Parramatta and Indian Navy Ships Sahyadri and Kiltan participated in the activity on the penultimate day of AUSINDEX 2019.

Commanding Officer of Success, Captain Darren Grogan, said the ability to carry out effective boardings – opposed and unopposed – were an essential capability of any naval vessel.

“It’s not often that boarding parties have the chance to carry out real-time boardings on a ship the size of Success,” he said.

“By undertaking such exercises, the personnel who participated today will have gained a valuable insight into what is involved in such a scenario.”

AUSINDEX 2019 was the third iteration of the biennial, bilateral exercise and formed an important component of the Defence relationship between the two countries.

The Australian Joint Task Force was the largest ever Australian Defence Force deployment to India.

As well as Success and Parramatta, Australia’s naval commitment to the exercise included HMA Ships Canberra, Newcastle, and Collins, while India’s involvement also included a submarine, a destroyer, a second corvette and an offshore patrol vessel.