Fleet Battle Staff hone skills in task group operations

This article has photo gallery Published on LCDR Stephen Hill (author), LSIS Helen Frank (photographer), CPL Mark Doran (photographer)

Topic(s): Exercise OCEAN RAIDER, Fleet Battle Staff

Fleet Battle Staff work in the Joint Operations Room onboard HMAS Canberra during Exercise Ocean Raider. (photo: LSIS Helen Frank)
Fleet Battle Staff work in the Joint Operations Room onboard HMAS Canberra during Exercise Ocean Raider.
Navy's Fleet Battle Staff has capped a very busy 2017 with a highly successful Exercise OCEAN RAIDER off Australia’s east coast.
When not deployed on operations or exercises, Fleet Battle Staff contributes to the development of tactics and doctrine in their warfare discipline, as well as task group level training and assessment.
The Fleet Battle Staff is responsible for the provision of tactical level command and planning of maritime operations and building on the skills gained in 2016, Fleet Battle Staff were perpetually engaged throughout 2017.
Commander Amphibious Task Group, Captain Brett Sonter, said the 2017 series of exercises demonstrated maturity in task group understanding.
“Despite not working as a Task Group prior, a collaborative effect was achieved in a condensed timeframe clearly demonstrating maturity of Task Group understanding within the Fleet,” he said.
“Successful completion of the challenges and complexity of OCEAN RAIDER enables elements at Fleet Command to finish 2017 on a high.”
Fleet Battle Staff started 2017 with Exercise OCEAN EXPLORER, a Navy led, joint enabled, fleet training exercise to develop unit based collective training levels.
Incorporating sea control task group training and integration, the exercise was supported for the first time by personnel from three elements of Fleet Battle Staff including Sea Component Command, Amphibious Task Group and Maritime Component Command.
Exercise SEA HORIZON then provided the opportunity to exercise the Amphibious Task Group Headquarters as part of the continuous development of the Combined Task Group staff and progress towards the goal to demonstrate the Amphibious Ready Group capability during Exercise TALISMAN SABRE 2017.
The seventh iteration of TALISMAN SABRE took place in July and proved to be the highlight, with the Maritime Component Command Element embedded ashore with the Deployable Joint Force Headquarters, the Amphibious Task Group Headquarters concentrated in HMAS Canberra, and the Sea Component Commander embedded in United States Navy amphibious ship USS Bonhomme Richard.
Additionally the Mine Warfare and Clearance Diving Task Group operated as the Maritime Advanced Force Commander.
“The unique opportunity for all elements to partake in the largest Joint exercise to happen in Australia successfully demonstrated and reinforced Australian and United States interoperability within a complex environment.”
Personnel from Fleet Battle Staff deployed in September as part of the inaugural Joint Maritime Task Group deployment Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2017 which represented the largest maritime task group deployment to the Indo-Pacific and Asian region since the Vietnam War.