A group of sailors and officers from HMAS Stuart were given special VIP treatment recently when the Anzac class frigate conducted a cross-decking of personnel with Indian Navy Ship Sahyadri.
The Shivalik-class stealth frigate, the third in its class, was in company with Stuart as part of Exercise Kakadu 2018, which is being held off the coast of the Northern Territory.
Sahyadri Commanding Officer Captain Shantanu Jha said multi-lateral exercises such as Kakadu presented an excellent opportunity for the Indian Navy to operate in close company with its regional allies.
“The Indian Navy is one of the fastest growing navies in the world and in our operational philosophy we have a very strong element of being able to exercise with all the major navies of the world,” he said.
“On this deployment we participated in our first ever bilateral exercise with the Vietnamese Navy, also with the Japanese and US Navies in Exercise Malabar, then came our participation in Exercise Rim of the Pacific.
“And now of course Exercise Kakadu, which gives us yet another chance of operating with the leading navies of the world and to carry out very valuable training exercises.”
Captain Jha said the professionalism shown in both the harbour and sea phases of Exercise Kakadu by all participants was a credit to the exercise planners.
“We had a great harbour phase where we had a number of very successful meetings so that all participating ships had a fair idea of what to expect when we went to sea,” he said.
“The past few days at sea and the large variety of training exercises, such as the air defence exercise that we are currently conducting, have provided fantastic training value for my crew.
“We are very grateful to the Royal Australian Navy for committing so many assets to Kakadu because I know it’s not an easy proposition to put so much hardware into one exercise.”
Sahyadri, which was named after a mountain range in central India, is home ported in the city of Visakhapatnam on the east coast of the country.
It was commissioned in 2012 and has been named the “Best ship of the Eastern Fleet” for three of the past six years.
Imagery is available on the Navy Image Library at http://images.navy.gov.au/S20183040.