Minehunters proudly display their skills in Korea

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

Location(s): Busan, Republic of Korea

Topic(s): HMAS Diamantina (M86), HMAS Gascoyne (M85), Multinational Mine Warfare Exercise (MIWEX), East Asia Deployment

Commander Task Group 635.3 Commander Brett Dawe is joined by Commanding Officer HMAS Diamantina Lieutenant Commander Darren McDevitt, and Commanding Officer HMAS Gascoyne Lieutenant Commander  Sean Aitken, along with Captain Soon Lee and Republic of Korea Navy personnel following a cultural gift exchange. (photo: LEUT Anthony Martin)
Commander Task Group 635.3 Commander Brett Dawe is joined by Commanding Officer HMAS Diamantina Lieutenant Commander Darren McDevitt, and Commanding Officer HMAS Gascoyne Lieutenant Commander Sean Aitken, along with Captain Soon Lee and Republic of Korea Navy personnel following a cultural gift exchange.

The Commanding Officer of HMAS Diamantina, Lieutenant Commander Darren McDevitt has hosted a welcoming event for Captain Soon Lee, the Commander of the Republic of Korea Navy (ROKN) Minesweeper Flotilla 5 and his staff in Busan, Korea.

Joined by Commander Brett Dawe, the RAN Task Group Commander and the Commanding Officer of HMAS Gascoyne, Lieutenant Commander Sean Aitken, Lieutenant Commander McDevitt escorted the ROKN contingent for a tour of the ship.

During the ship’s tour both groups talked about the similarities of tasks and equipment supporting Mine Warfare operations. The mine-disposal remotely operated vehicle and the diving re-compression equipment were highlights generating much discussion around capability and endurance.

Captain Lee was very pleased to have the opportunity to visit Diamantina and see the ships he will be exercising with first hand.

“It is a great achievement for the Australian Navy to send these Minehunters such a long way to join us here for the Exercise,” Captain Lee said.

RAN Task Group Commander, Commander Dawe, exchanged cultural and Navy mementos with Captain Lee, while Lieutenant Commander McDevitt and Lieutenant Commander Aitken made similar exchanges with ROKN Squadron unit Commanding Officers.

Lieutenant Commander McDevitt thanked the visitors for joining them on the ship.

“We are proud to host you here today and look forward to the upcoming exercise and to share our skills and knowledge in Mine warfare,” he said.

“The collaboration displayed is a positive reflection of the enthusiasm both groups have for the exercise ahead.”

Commander Dawe was pleased with the can-do attitude demonstrated by his team and the two Minehunter crews.

“Our contribution to the success of this visit will be apparent in the ability to share knowledge and enhance the existing bonds between our nations,” Commander Dawe said.

This is the second time RAN minesweepers have sailed so far north to join in regional exercises, and is the first time that a RAN Task Group Commander has led the participating units in the exercise.

The Task Group, Diamantina and Gascoyne are taking part in the multinational Mine Countermeasure Symposium and Mine Ware Exercise in the Republic of Korea as part of a four month East Asian Deployment.