Exercise DISTANT SHORES

Published on LEUT Michael Wheeler (author), ABIS Jake Badior (photographer)

HMA Ships Anzac (left) and Arunta set sail from Albany, Western Australia, to begin anti-submarine warfare serials after taking part in the Albany Convoy Commemorative Event. (photo: ABIS Jake Badior)
HMA Ships Anzac (left) and Arunta set sail from Albany, Western Australia, to begin anti-submarine warfare serials after taking part in the Albany Convoy Commemorative Event.

Like an intricate game of chess, Exercise DISTANT SHORES continues off the south western coast of Western Australia, involving a series of anti-submarine warfare exercises by a force of Australian, New Zealand and Japanese ships against submarine, HMAS Rankin.

HMA Ships Arunta and Sirius along with New Zealand frigate HMNZS Te Kaha and the Japanese destroyer JDS Kirisame have regrouped for Exercise DISTANT SHORES after participating in the Albany Convoy Commemorative Event.

During the exercise the ships are developing interoperability and gaining familiarity with each other’s capabilities.

Commanding Officer HMAS Arunta, Commander David Tietzel, commented on the benefits of conducting an exercise with foreign navies.

“Exercise DISTANT SHORES has been a good opportunity to test out our capability in the anti-submarine space. Working with the New Zealanders and the Japanese has again provided a way to understand each other’s procedures and can only help our interoperability into the future,” Commander Tietzel said.

For many under training it was their first opportunity to work with a submarine a challenge to sight a periscope or antenna amongst the white caps of the Southern Ocean.

“Exposing those of the crew who have not previously been involved in an exercise with a submarine has been an invaluable experience. The skill required to detect and track a submarine still remains one of the most challenging tasks that we undertake in Navy and to do that in conjunction with the New Zealanders and the Japanese has been a great opportunity,” Commander Tietzel said.

Kirisame, at over 4,000 tonnes, is a modern Murasame destroyer based in Sasebo in Nagasaki. 

Additional imagery is available at: http://images.navy.gov.au/S20143366.