Minehunters achieve more firsts for RAN

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Anthony Martin (author and photographer)

Topic(s): HMAS Gascoyne (M85), HMAS Huon (M82), North East Asia Deployment

HMAS Huon (82) alongside JMSDF Bungo during Exercise HYUGA NADA 18 off the coast of Southern Japan. (photo: LEUT Tony Martin)
HMAS Huon (82) alongside JMSDF Bungo during Exercise HYUGA NADA 18 off the coast of Southern Japan.

HMA Ships Gascoyne and Huon have notched up a number of achievements during the ships' north east Asian deployment - first mine located by sonar and by divers during an exercise conducted with the Republic of Korea Navy; HMAS Gascoyne was the first Royal Australian Navy (RAN) Minehunter to visit Kure Naval Base in Japan; and, along with sister ship HMAS Huon, the first RAN Mine Warfare vessels to sail over 4000 miles north of Australia.

During the Tri-lateral Mine Warfare Exercise (MIWEX) with the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) and the United States Navy (USN), Gascoyne and Huon achieved another milestone while secured alongside JMSDF Ship Bungo in the waters off the south coast of Japan. During the ‘rafting up’ evolution, Gascoyne conducted replenishment by taking onboard fresh water, becoming the first RAN vessel and Australian Minehunter to replenish with Bungo.

Commander Task Group and Commanding Officer of HMAS Gascoyne, Lieutenant Commander Richard Brickacek said he was proud of both crews who completed the task at short notice with excellent seamanship and safety on display.

“I am appreciative of the JMSDF for the opportunity to exercise our maritime skills,” said LCDR Brickacek.

“The ability for a RAN ship to practice this activity during a major exercise is quite significant.

“Combining this with the opportunity to share the knowledge with a regional partner contributes greatly to the unit’s operations and endurance.

“We have successfully proven this capability for any future interaction with the JMSDF for the RAN Minehunters,” said LCDR Brickacek.