Warramunga engages with regional neighbours

This article has photo gallery Published on LCDR Fiona Eggins (author and photographer), CPOEW Martin Anderson (photographer)

Location(s): Sihanoukville, Cambodia

Topic(s): HMAS Warramunga (F152), Exercise RIMPAC, Exercise KAKADU, Exercise BERSAMA LIMA

HMAS Warramungs ship's company joining staff and children at the Village d'enfant de Sihanouk Ville, an orphange for young children, following a successful working bee. (photo: LCDR Fiona Eggans)
HMAS Warramungs ship's company joining staff and children at the Village d'enfant de Sihanouk Ville, an orphange for young children, following a successful working bee.

New friends and cultural experiences were highlights for the ship’s company of HMAS Warramunga when they visited Sihanoukville, Cambodia and Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam recently.

In Sihanoukville, the frigate hosted tours and technical talks in the areas of engineering and navigation for colleagues from the Royal Cambodian Navy, and welcomed aboard the Australian Ambassador to the Kingdom of Cambodia and the Cambodian Chief of Navy at an official reception.

Commanding Officer Warramunga, Commander Dugald Clelland said the addition of South East Asian ports to the ship’s program was welcome.

“We departed Sydney in mid June on a six month deployment and have showcased our skills in multi-national Exercises RIMPAC, KAKADU and BERSAMA LIMA," he said.

“Cambodia and Vietnam were late additions to our program, but we were pleased to engage.

“With the naval exercises that Warramunga has participated in this year, it was a fantastic opportunity for the crew to meet who they worked with,” Commander Clelland said.

While in Sihanoukville, a large number of ship's company volunteered to assist with repairs and cleaning of the Village d’enfant de Sihanouk Ville Orphanage. This was a repeat visit as Warramunga had provided assistance previously in 2011.

The children assisted the working party and enjoyed showing the volunteers their home, and Leading Seaman Electronics Technician Nathan Spilling said it was a great experience.

“The children’s excitement was infectious; they helped with the cleaning and then we played some games. It was a pleasure knowing we had helped to make a difference," he said.

While in port, Warramunga’s sports team competed against the Cambodian Navy at Ream Naval Base in volleyball and tug-o-war.

While the Cambodian volleyball team excelled, Warramunga flexed her muscles to win the tug-o-war.

After the visit to Cambodia, Warramunga visited Cam Rahn Bay, Vietnam. This was the first time an Australian Navy ship had visited since 1968.

The Vietnamese Navy showed their hospitality with an official reception at the brand new facilities at the International Port; Warramunga in turn hosted a ships tour. Personnel also took part in a sporting competition, with the Vietnamese beating Warramunga’s side in volleyball.

Warramunga
is nearing the end of her deployment and will return to Australia in early December.