2nd Battalion (Amphibious), Royal Australian Regiment (2 RAR) soldiers have embarked HMAS Adelaide as part of the largest multinational force the ship has welcomed on board since her commissioning in 2015.
The amphibious soldiers joined the Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD), at Pearl Harbor for Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) with troops from the US, Japan, Tonga, Singapore, New Zealand, Canada, Sri Lanka and Malaysia.
2 RAR Logistics Officer Captain Brenton Chapman said that more than 800 military personnel joined the ship’s company for transit to the island of Hawaii for the field phase of the exercise.
“This is a significant accomplishment for HMAS Adelaide as she will be operating at capacity with about 1300 of her 1400 bunk spaces occupied,” Captain Chapman said.
“Australia’s other LHD, HMAS Canberra, embarked a similar force during RIMPAC 2016, however this is a first for Adelaide and marks a significant milestone for the ship as part of Australia’s Amphibious Force.”
Due to the sheer size of the embarkation, Captain Chapman said that the ship was loaded over a number of days while berthed at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.
Loading began with 674 tonnes of vehicles and equipment being secured onto the Light Vehicle Deck, including 2 RAR’s organic transport and US Marine Corps vehicles, including Amphibious Assault Vehicles (AAV).
Before setting sail, Captain Chapman said that all embarked forces were introduced to life on board an Australian Amphibious Assault Ship with induction training.
“All of the multinational forces received training on routine and daily life on board the ship, safety procedures and general habitability on the ship for their transit,” Captain Chapman said.
As the Army’s amphibious experts, the 2 RAR soldiers are well-versed in ship life, however this will be the first time they have embarked Adelaide as part of a multinational Task Force of this scale and diversity.
During the two-day transit to the field training area, the 2 RAR soldiers and their multinational partners conducted integration training serials, including disembarkation rehearsals for tactical insertion.
Once the ship reaches the island of Hawaii, the soldiers will insert via the ship’s LHD Landing Craft and MRH-90 aircraft to conduct a series of live fire range practises.
The successful insertion of such a large multinational force marks a significant feat for both 2 RAR and Adelaide as they demonstrate amphibious capability involving the coordination of nine nations.
For more information and resources about RIMPAC 2018, visit http://www.navy.gov.au/operations-and-exercises/rimpac-2018