HMA Ships Sirius and Arunta, and HMNZS Te Kaha rendezvoused in Bass Strait during their passage to Albany, Western Australia, for the centenary of Anzac commemorations commencing 31 October.
The ships will be providing support for the events which will commemorate the departure of the Australian Imperial Force and New Zealand Expeditionary Force soldiers for the First World War.
The passage to Albany will enable communication, navigation and warfare training said Commanding Officer Sirius, Commander Darren Grogan.
“Our passage across the Southern Ocean will provide in-company hours, enabling us to train our sailors and consolidate their skills, particularly in officer of the watch manoeuvres and communication,” Commander Grogan said.
Interoperability with the New Zealand Navy is well-practised, but the relevance is becoming more poignant as the 100th anniversary of the ANZAC landings in Gallipoli approaches said Commander Grogan.
“The Anzac spirit was forged on the high seas during the convoy passage and then on the shores of distant lands in battle, and one hundred years later our task group of Australian and New Zealand ships still represents that friendship and loyalty to one another,” he said.
The first meeting of the Australian and New Zealand forces was aptly described by Major Fred Waite, author of ‘The New Zealanders at Gallipoli’, as: “the cheering and counter-cheering, the Maori war cries and answering coo-ees would have moved a stoic. Young Australia was welcoming Young New Zealand in no uncertain manner in the first meeting of those brothers-in-arms soon to be known by a glorious name as yet undreamed of.”
The ships will join HMA Ships Anzac, Stuart and Rankin alongside Japanese Defence Ship Kirisame in Albany recreating the history of those brave soldiers and sailors of the First World War.