Boarding techniques refined

This article has photo gallery Published on LSIS Jayson Tufrey (author and photographer)

Location(s): Darwin, Northern Territory

Topic(s): HMAS Glenelg (P96), HMAS Armidale (P83), Exercise KAKADU

HMAS Glenelg and her sea boat stand off Discovery III during a fisheries boarding exercise during Exercise KAKADU off the coast of Darwin, NT. (photo: LSIS Jayson Tufrey)
HMAS Glenelg and her sea boat stand off Discovery III during a fisheries boarding exercise during Exercise KAKADU off the coast of Darwin, NT.

Australia’s closest neighbours had the opportunity to observe Royal Australian Navy tactics, techniques and procedures in real-time as minor war vessels conducted boarding operation training off the coast of Darwin during Exercise KAKADU.

Members of ships' companies from Papua New Guinea, and observers from Fiji and Tonga embarked in the DMS Maritime vessel Discovery III to observe, as crews from HMA Ships Armidale and Glenelg conducted boarding of the vessel.

Discovery III
 is an asset used by both major fleet units and minor war vessels to conduct boarding training under the supervision of Sea Training Group, the organisation responsible for testing Navy’s ability to execute missions safely.

Sea Training Group member Petty Officer Boatswain Damien Keygan said the boarding scenarios during KAKADU were tailored around flag verification and fisheries interdictions.

“We engaged with our regional partners with training which is based on real-world operational situations faced by patrol boat crews off the north coast of Australia,” Petty Officer Keygan said.

“Having our Pacific partners observe our standard operating procedures lays a solid foundation, paving the way for better interoperability between our nations in the future.

“The crews are always receptive to the tactics and techniques we show them. I believe the lessons reinforced through exercises like KAKADU will become the standard procedure for navies in our region.”

Petty Officer Keygan said bringing nations together for training was a good approach for all concerned.

“Australia has a massive coast line which means a huge oceanic responsibility for us.

“With our regional partners all operating similarly, we are well placed to respond to contingencies in our part of the world,” Petty Officer Keygan said.

“Our neighbours have a large part to play in the sustainment of maritime resources in the Pacific and it’s great we can share our knowledge with each other.”

By the end of KAKADU crews from HMPNG Ships Moresby and Seeadler tried their hand at conducting boarding exercises themselves on Discovery III under the supervision of Sea Training Group staff.