HMAS Sirius exercised some vital maritime communication and safety procedures recently off Vietnam, undertaking a passage exercise with Vietnamese People’s Navy ship HQ-275.
The ships practised the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea, known as CUES. The code was endorsed by the members of the Western Pacific Naval Symposium in April 2014 and is a coordinated means of communication to maximise safety and reduce uncertainty when naval units encounter one another.
Commanding Officer Sirius, Commander Darren Grogan said the practical application of the code was significant for both navies.
“We actively engaged in exercising the recently endorsed Code and enhanced our abiltity to work together as we both recognise the importance of continued security and stability in the Asia-Pacific region,” Commander Grogan said.
Immediately following the passage exercise, Sirius rendezvoused with HMA Ships Arunta and Stuart to reform Task Group 627.3 for the latter part of their Asian deployments.
Arunta and Stuart had been in company with French Navy Ship Vendemiare and after the seagoing meeting, commenced a dual Replenishment at Sea.
Able Seaman Communication and Information Systems Jeremy Cross in Sirius said the double replenishment was impressive.
"With ships on both sides of Sirius and a helicopter overhead and then landing on deck, as the sun set over a rough sea, it was an afternoon to remember,” Able Seaman Cross said.
Task Group 627.3 sailed from Australia in late August. By the time the units return to Australia they will have collectively visited 10 countries: India, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, China, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, and Indonesia; notably conducting a individual passage exercises with each nation.
The deployment has enabled operations at a Task Group level to be consolidated into a professional and ‘business as usual’ affair. Coordinated exercises continue to extend Task Group level warfare capability in line with Fleet Command objectives.
The refinement and professionalism of the Task Group will be tested shortly as it enters Australian waters to participate in the Fleet Concentration Period and Warfare Assessment Week off the Eastern Australian coast.
Fleet Concentration Period is a large scale maritime training activity supported by the Air Force and Army, which focuses on the training and development of coordinated operations. Exercises validate training and test levels of preparedness, bringing together the wider fleet community to foster professional and personal development.
Imagery is available from the Navy Image Library at http://images.navy.gov.au/S20153263.