Patrol boats train together off Darwin

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

Location(s): Darwin, Northern Territory

Topic(s): HMAS Glenelg (P96), HMAS Albany (P86), Exercise KAKADU

Officer of the watch on Her Majesty's Papua New Guinean Ship Moresby Sub-Lieutenant Peter Waso, takes a bearing during officer of the watch manoeuvres during Exercise Kakadu 2016, Darwin, NT. (photo: LSIS Jayson Tufrey)
Officer of the watch on Her Majesty's Papua New Guinean Ship Moresby Sub-Lieutenant Peter Waso, takes a bearing during officer of the watch manoeuvres during Exercise Kakadu 2016, Darwin, NT.

HMA Ships Glenelg and Albany have been enjoying some in-company time with our closest Commonwealth neighbours in the Arafura Sea as part of Exercise KAKADU.
 
Her Majesty’s Papua New Guinean ships (HMPNGS) Seeadler and Moresby, are Pacific class patrol boats based on Manus Island, and are conducting officer-of-the-watch manoeuvres, engineering casualty control drills, man overboard exercises and gunnery serials with the Australian warships.
 
Commmanding Officer Moresby, Lieutenant Collen Yaperth said he has participated in many KAKADU exercises in the past.
 
“We get a lot out of these biennial exercises. We get to develop our seaman officer skills, and have a better understanding of fleet work and tactical manoeuvres,” he said.
 
“There is always the possibility we will be called upon to work with the Australian Navy for any number of reasons, so it is great to know we can integrate should we need to.
 
“Most of our officer training is done in Australia so many of our procedures are the same.”
 
Lieutenant Yaperth said working in company with the international fleet presented many challenges and was at the same time rewarding.
 
“We have to ensure we are in the right place at the right time and following the correct procedures,” he said.
 
“It presents a fantastic training opportunity for the younger officers coming up through the ranks – it is also rewarding to see the increase in your crew’s skill level as you progress.
 
“My highlight has been participating in manoeuvres with six or more ships in company. That is not something we get to do every day.”
 
Navy's in-house assessment team, Sea Training Group, traditionally are utilised to work crews up to an operational standard, they also participate in exercises such as KAKADU by embarking on foreign vessels to ensure serials run smoothly, program de-confliction and as overall safety observers.
 
Chief Petty Officer Boatswain Paul Norton from assesses fleet gunnery and seamanship said Sea Training Group's role was to train, coach and mentor.
 
“We’re on board to alleviate any communications issues that may arise from misinterpretation of tactical orders, we also generally just take a step back to make sure there are no safety breaches,” he said.
 
“During this year’s KAKADU I have been embarked on the boats from Papua New Guinea and it is impressive to see the professionalism these guys have. 
 
“A lot of their procedures are almost identical to ours and some, such as steering gear failures, are quite different and interesting to see.
 
“The guys from Papua New Guinea love to have a good laugh and are fun to be around.”