Toowoomba concludes MASTEX 17

Published on LTCOL Phil Pyke (author), Department of Defence (photographer)

Location(s): Lumut

Topic(s): HMAS Toowoomba (F156)

KD Lekir, from the Royal Malaysian Navy, displays the flags after the completion of the sea phase with HMAS Toowoomba of MASTEX 2017. (photo: Department of Defence)
KD Lekir, from the Royal Malaysian Navy, displays the flags after the completion of the sea phase with HMAS Toowoomba of MASTEX 2017.

HMAS Toowoomba has successfully concluded the week-long Exercise MASTEX 17, held at the Royal Malaysian Navy Western Fleet base of Lumut.

The exercise is the only bilateral maritime exercise conducted between the Royal Australian Navy and the Royal Malaysian Navy, commencing with the harbour phase and ceremony, prior to the fleet undertaking a three-day sea phase.

The Commanding Officer of Toowoomba, Commander Stuart Watters said the exercise involved 500 Australian and Malaysian personnel.

“MASTEX enhanced interoperability and mutual understanding between the navies in selected facets of naval operations through the conduct of graduated training activities and weapons practices,” he said.

“Additionally, there were opportunities to exchange professional views through the conduct of workshops on specific areas of interest and through the personnel exchange program.”

Commander Watters said the two navies have conducted Exercise MASTEX together since 2002.

"It is an important part of the Royal Australian Navy’s exercise program and helps to foster a close and long lasting relationship between our two nations,” he said.

“One of our junior officers met a Malaysian officer for the third time in the last two years – it was a great opportunity to build on these ongoing relationships.”

MASTEX commenced with a harbour phase - which included a range of briefings and professional exchanges - before the sea phases of the exercise began.

While at sea, the ships undertook a graduated series of maritime security activities, which culminated in complex warfare serials.

The visit also included visits to local Navy faculties such as the engineering school, and fire fighting training facility.

"By regularly conducting exercises like MASTEX we ensure that the Royal Australian Navy and Royal Malaysian Navy are ready and capable of working together on common tasks,” Commander Watters said.

Australia’s strong relationship with Malaysia is underpinned by cooperation through the Five Power Defence Arrangements.